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11 July 2011 : Column WA119



11 July 2011 : Column WA119

Written Answers

Monday 11 July 2011

The following Question should have been printed on 7 July 2011.

Cornwall: Stannary Law

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): Cornwall is subject to Acts of the UK Parliament. Except for matters that are geographically limited, such as Private Acts of Parliament for infrastructure works, Acts of Parliament apply in Cornwall as they do throughout England. In particular, there is no power of veto in Cornwall in relation to the passing or application of Acts of the UK Parliament.

Abortion

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): I refer the noble Lord to the Written Answer I gave him on 29 June (Official Report, col. WA 420).

We are drawing up proposals to enable all women who are seeking an abortion to be offered access to independent counselling. These proposals will be available in due course.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Over 60,000 women die every year in India due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth. The British Government provide support to the health programmes of three poor states (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa) to improve the quality of services for maternal and newborn healthcare to reduce this unnecessary and tragic burden. Part of this support

11 July 2011 : Column WA120

may be used to upgrade centres for emergency obstetric care, including provision of ultrasonography, which is an essential medical technology to diagnose problems in pregnancy and protect the life of both mother and baby.

Through the Government of India's Reproductive and Child Health Programme the British Government support the Indian Government's efforts to implement their Pre-Conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Regulation Act (PC&PNDT) which outlaws the practice of sex-selective abortion. For example, Madhya Pradesh is implementing enhanced monitoring of all use of ultrasound to ensure that it is not used for this purpose.

Armed Forces: Dental Services

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): As part of the Joint Medical Command (JMC), the Defence Dental Service (DDS) is responsible for the provision of dental support to the Royal Air Force (RAF). Stations with a resident population in excess of 500 personnel have a dedicated team of RAF dental branch professionals who deliver a comprehensive service to meet the needs of the RAF. Where there are insufficient personnel to justify a resident team, arrangements are made to provide a visiting service or to access dental treatment from a DDS centre nearby. On occasion this may be sourced from DDS assets within Royal Navy or Army establishments. In all cases provision is made to ensure prompt access to emergency dental care. In common with the dental support provided to the other services, the performance indicators (PI) against which RAF dental services are measured are contained within the Defence Medical Service (DMS) strategic plan. Currently the services provided for RAF stations meet all relevant PIs.

The DDS operates a quality management system for clinicians and dental centres. This process requires that all clinicians are subject to periodic clinical quality assessment by an appointed clinician. All dental centres are subject to annual health care governance assessments using a Care Quality Commission accredited assessment process. This quality management process is managed by clinicians at regional headquarters, monitored by DDS HQ and assured by the inspector general on behalf of the surgeon general.

The healthcare governance assessment results are collated by DDS HQ to identify trends that highlight both best practice and areas for improvement, which can be subject to quality improvement initiatives. DDS HQ also submits to the JMC HQ an annual healthcare governance statement of internal control, identifying on a pan-DDS basis areas of good practice and areas for improvement. In a broader DMS context, DDS

11 July 2011 : Column WA121

results are aggregated with other medical treatment facility results from across the DMS and reported to relevant DMS senior management boards and, if appropriate to do so, to the Defence Audit Committee.

Although DDS healthcare governance assessment results are currently not published in the public domain in the format requested, the Healthcare Commission undertook an assessment of the DMS, including the DDS, in 2009 with the resulting report being placed in the public domain.

Artists' Resale Rights

Question

Asked by Lord Freyberg

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The UK Government are in frequent contact with other European member states, both at ministerial and official level, on a wide range of issues. The subject of artist's resale rights has been discussed many times, but to date there has been no widespread support for revisiting this legislation.

Bank of England

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Like other boards, the Court of the Bank of England undertakes periodic surveys of its own effectiveness, covering the management of meetings, the degree of challenge and support to the executive and the quality of information provided. Such a survey was conducted in 2008 under the guidance of the chair of the non-executive directors' committee.

In relation to the banking crisis, the executive and non-executive members of the Court contributed to the analysis of the lessons from the financial crisis, both for the regulators and for central banks. This was reflected in Bank officials' speeches and public evidence to parliamentary committees from the start of the crisis. It also contributed to the previous Government's review during 2008.

The Bank highlighted, in particular, the need for a resolution regime for banks, better regulation of bank liquidity and revised liquidity insurance arrangements that could be drawn without risk of stigmatising

11 July 2011 : Column WA122

the beneficiaries. The 2009 Banking Act gave the Bank responsibility for bank resolution. Temporary arrangements for liquidity insurance, introduced in 2008, were replaced by a permanent liquidity insurance facility in the Bank's 2010 sterling market framework (the Red Book).

Banking

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England has operational responsibility for setting the official Bank rate to meet the Government's inflation target. The independence of the MPC is critical to ensuring the credibility and success of United Kingdom monetary policy. The current views of the MPC-including on the outlook for inflation and the stance of monetary policy-are explained in the Bank of England's May 2011 Inflation Report.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: At the Seoul G20 summit in November 2010, leaders agreed to "strengthen regulation and oversight of shadow banking1". This work is being taken forward by the Financial Stability Board, through a task force chaired by Lord Turner of Ecchinswell.

The task force will seek to provide conclusions on the following three issues:

clarifying what is meant by the "shadow banking system";setting out potential approaches for monitoring the shadow banking system; andexploring possible regulatory measures to address the systemic risk and regulatory arbitrage concerns posed by the shadow banking system.

The group published a document in April 2011 that set out early findings, including views relating to monitoring and mapping of shadow banking and the range of regulatory options that may be applied to aspects of shadow banking. It is available online at: http://www.financialstabilityboard.org/publications/r_11041 2a.pdf.

The task force will develop their work over the coming months and will report back to the G20 Leaders summit in November 2011. The Government support this work.

1 The Seoul Communiqué.



11 July 2011 : Column WA123

Banking: Iceland

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Information on administration costs can be found in the relevant administrator's reports. The most recent reports can be found at the following links:

KSF

http://www.kaupthingsingers.co.uk/Files/CustomerCreditorInformation/KSF_Progress_Report_April_2011.pdf

Heritable

http://www.heritable.co.uk/Uploads/ Documents/news/Eighth_Report.pdf

Landsbanki

http://www.lbi.is/library/Opin-gogn/skyrslan/Creditors_Meeting_19may2011_eng%20-%20open%20site.pdf.

Bats

Question

Asked by Lord Vinson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): As explained in the previous Answer, the costs of compliance with the requirements of the directive can vary considerably on a case by case basis and such costs are not centrally collected. While the transposing regulations have been subsequently amended to reflect the terms of the directive better, its requirements have remained the same. Since its transposition, therefore, no regulatory impact assessment of the costs of compliance with the requirements of the directive as regards bats has been made.

British Nationality Act 1981

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): There are no plans to amend the requirements for naturalisation at the current time.

Circuses: Animals

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): The Government will listen to the view of the House of Commons and are sympathetic to the motion for a ban. We will continue to look carefully at how this could be introduced; there are legal difficulties that we cannot ignore but which we are continuing to explore.

In the mean time, we have begun to develop a tough licensing regime that will stop circuses from using these wild animals if they do not provide the appropriate welfare standards.

Common Agricultural Policy

Question

Asked by Lord Whitty

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Until recently EU Regulation No. 259/2008 required each member state to publish common agricultural policy (CAP) payment information relating to all recipients, i.e. to both legal persons (e.g. companies) and natural persons (e.g. individual beneficiaries). However, in November 2010 the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the publication of data on natural persons in the form required by the regulation should cease. In order to give immediate effect to the judgment, and as a temporary measure, the European Commission amended the regulation (by Regulation 410/2011) such that each member state is now required to publish only the information relating to legal persons.

In the coming weeks Defra will publish information about UK CAP payments made to legal persons between 16 October 2008 and 15 October 2010 under all CAP schemes: i.e. market schemes, the single payment and other direct aid schemes and rural development schemes. CAP payment information relating to natural persons will not be published.



11 July 2011 : Column WA125

The European Commission now intends to review the legislation with the aim of restoring the former level of transparency about all recipients of CAP scheme funding, while still taking account of the CJEU judgment. The UK will continue to press the Commission to bring forward new legislation that will maximise transparency and openness in the use of EU funds. The UK has consistently supported the provision of information relating to payments under the CAP.

The UK CAP payments website, where this data will be published as soon as the data on natural persons has been separated out, can be found at: http://cap-payments.defra.dov.uk/.

Equality

Question

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

Baroness Verma: Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 places a legal obligation on public bodies, including local authorities, to consider the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations. The equality duty came into force on 5 April 2011, replacing the disability equality duty under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 and similar duties relating to race and gender equality.

As was the case for the previous public sector equality duties, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is the statutory body with powers to assess compliance with the equality duty and to take legal proceedings against public bodies that are failing to comply.

To help public bodies comply with the equality duty, the Government Equalities Office has published guidance explaining what the equality duty requires. The Equality and Human Rights Commission also plans to produce a statutory code of practice and more detailed guidance for public bodies.

Equality Act 2010

Questions

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

Baroness Verma: Any proposals for changes to the Equality Act 2010 generated by the Red Tape Challenge would receive careful consideration, including an assessment of whether they are proportionate, practical,

11 July 2011 : Column WA126

beneficial and in keeping with the Government's wider commitments and EU or domestic legal obligations. Any proposals would also need to go through the appropriate consultation and parliamentary processes.

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Verma: On 27 June, the specific duties regulations were laid before Parliament and most of the information requested is in the regulatory impact assessment published alongside the regulations. On the specific questions, we estimate that the implementation of the new equality duty resulted in a one-off transitional cost to the public sector of around £2.7 million. The new duty is expected to result in a net benefit thereafter to the public sector of between £14 million and £25 million (mid-point estimate £19 million) each year compared to the cost of complying with the previous race, disability and gender equality duties, which had recurring costs of £39 million to £45 million each year. The benefit is a result of reduced bureaucracy-the removal of requirements to publish equality schemes, for example.

We also estimate that around 1,100 full-time equivalent staff were required per annum across the public sector to implement the previous duties. The implementation of the new equality duty will require approximately 500 fewer full-time equivalent staff per annum.

To encourage public bodies to be transparent, the new draft specific duties regulations would require public bodies with 150 or more staff to publish workforce information demonstrating their compliance with the equality duty. However, the draft regulations do not prescribe any particular data to be published and it will be for each public body to decide exactly what information it publishes. We expect all large public bodies to have workforce monitoring processes in place. We therefore estimate that there will be no additional costs to public bodies from this requirement.

Government Departments: Expenditure

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: Since May 2010, training for Ministers has been centrally funded by the Core Learning Programme. Under this programme, departments made payments in 2010 to cover a wide

11 July 2011 : Column WA127

range of training events, including ministerial learning and development. Some of this budget was available to carry over to 2011-12 and continues to fund a small range of products, including ministerial training. The draw down from this budget for ministerial training inputs since May 2010 is £77,932.

This budget covers training inputs for a total of 93 Ministers as follows:

induction group workshops: 28 Ministers;individual/team induction briefings: 28 Ministers;workshop on organisation of private office in support of Ministers: one Minister;individual briefings on parliamentary work and internal legislative processes: 16 Ministers;individual briefings on financial management in government and corporate governance: seven Ministersindividual briefings on working with select committees and the role of departments in support of Ministers: three Ministers;individual briefings on arm's-length bodies and corporate governance: one Minister; andindividual briefings on leadership development: nine Ministers.

These figures are also available in table format on the National School's website at http://www.nationalschool. gov.uk/policy/MinisterialProgramme/Table.asp.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: This information is not collected centrally.

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Information on hospitality expenditure is not collected centrally, and so could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Government Departments: Research and Data

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The Cabinet Office undertakes a large amount of research and data collection across the department. The results of much of this research is published on the Cabinet Office website (www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk). However, relevant units

11 July 2011 : Column WA128

within the Cabinet Office also commission their own ad-hoc research. A complete list of commissioned research is therefore not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Government: Art Collection

Question

Asked by Lord Sharkey

Baroness Rawlings: The government art collection (GAC) has no current market valuation or estimated valuation. An accurate current monetary value of a work of art can be accurately assessed only at the time of purchase or sale, or by professional valuation. The collection is not actively traded, and it would not be a justifiable expenditure of public funds to have the whole collection valued professionally. The GAC contains 13,619 works.

There are 15 permanent staff posts, including 14 full- time staff and two job shares. All but one of these posts is specialist in nature. The GAC's programme budget for the current financial year, 2011-12, is £347,000. This has been reduced from £540,000 (which included £194,000 capital) for 2010-11 and covers transport and installation, conservation, framing, photography, copyright and website costs.

The GAC's prime and specific remit is to promote British art, history and culture through the display of works of art in the representational areas of over 400 UK government buildings in this country and all over the world. Some two-thirds of the collection's holdings are out on display at any one time. Each year these works of art are seen by many thousands of visitors to these buildings. Because of this unique role, it is not possible to provide a meaningful average annual figure for the number of works that are accessible by the general public.

The GAC runs at least three tours of its premises per month for up to 20 members of the general public each time, and take part in the annual museums at night weekend in May and open house weekend in September. These tours take the form of an introduction to the history and role of the GAC and a tour round its premises and a sample of the works of art that are on the premises at that point, which are changing on a constant basis.

The GAC is currently holding the first in a series of five consecutive exhibition displays at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, to September 2012. These five displays will then tour as a single unit to Birmingham and Belfast in 2012-2013. Since the first display opened in early June 2011, at least 17,000 visitors have seen it. This current display contains 25 works of art, and

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future displays will feature a further 130-150. The GAC also lends works of art to public exhibitions organised by other bodies.

The GAC has just published the first book about the collection's role, Art, Power, Diplomacy: The Untold Story of the Government Art Collection. This illustrates some 125 individual works of art in the collection, plus many contextual photographs. Almost the entire collection is accessible by the worldwide public on a constant basis through the GAC's website, which gives general information about the GAC as well as features on specific aspects of its role (www.gac.culture.gov.uk). Additionally, the collection's entire holding of paintings is accessible in the BBC "Your Paintings" website (www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings) operated via the Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF). The PCF published a hard copy volume on the GAC's holdings of paintings in January 2008.

Health: Drugs

Questions

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): On 11 May, the day of publication of the National Addiction Centre's and National Treatment Agency's research reports, a departmental official gave a presentation on them at a training event about addiction to medicine, which was organised with the Royal College of General Practitioners. Officials have been working with the college and other interested parties to develop plans for further dissemination, including via the internet and training materials.

Asked by The Earl of Sandwich

Earl Howe: A range of guidance materials has already been provided to general practitioners and pharmacists for use with their patients regarding the risks of dependency associated with prescription and over-the-counter medicines. For details on this, I refer the noble Earl to the Written Answer given on 20 June 2011 (Official Report, col. WA 245).

In addition, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency plans to use its publication for healthcare professionals, Drug Safety Update, to highlight the report of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse on addiction to medicines. The article will include a reminder to healthcare professionals about the risks of addiction associated with the use of benzodiazepines and codeine-containing analgesics.



11 July 2011 : Column WA130

Possible further action will be discussed as part of the work we will be leading to involve relevant organisations and interested individuals to determine what needs to be done in the light of the information contained in the reports published on addiction to medicines.

Health: Essential Tremor Disorder

Question

Asked by Baroness Hooper

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Government investment in health research in England is made principally by the department through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Medical Research Council (MRC).

The NIHR and the MRC are not currently supporting any research directly related to establishing the difference between the hereditary and non-hereditary conditions of essential tremor. However, as part of a broad portfolio of research on neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, the MRC has supported a number of projects that aim to improve the understanding of the condition. The following are examples of current projects in this area:

Effect of pedunculopontine nucleus DBS in reducing falls and improving gait and postural control in Parkinson's disease,

Mr D Nandi, Imperial College London (£381,000k, January 2009-December 2011): www.mrc.ac.uk/ResearchPortfolio/Grant/Record.htm?GrantRef= G0701698&CaseId = 12091; andReprogramming the Nervous System through a Wearable Neurostimulation Device, Professor S N Baker, Newcastle University (£407k, April 2009-October 2012): http://www.mrc.ac.uk/ ResearchPortfolio/Grant/Record.htm? GrantRef=G0801705&CaseId= 14274.

The NIHR is currently funding a research training fellowship on the clinical spectrum and pathophysiology of tremor in peripheral neuropathy.

Health: Surgical Instruments

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Information is not held on which companies supply surgical instruments to which National Health Service organisations. However, a list

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of companies currently contracted to supply surgical instruments by NHS Supply Chain is provided in the following table.

NHS Supply Chain contract at a national level on behalf of the NHS, although NHS trusts are not bound to procure goods through NHS Supply Chain. It is estimated that NHS Supply Chain accounts for 10 to 15 per cent of all surgical instruments supplied into the NHS by value. The remaining proportion will be supplied directly through a variety of different procurement models established by NHS organisations and served by many of the same suppliers as supply through NHS Supply Chain. The suppliers under contract to NHS Supply Chain will, though, account for a significant proportion of sales of surgical instruments to the NHS overall.

The principal responsibility for ensuring that regulatory standards are met rests with the supplier. Manufacturers of surgical instruments must ensure that their devices meet the relevant safety, quality and performance requirements laid down in the EU medical devices directive before they are placed on the United Kingdom market.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has a post-market surveillance and enforcement role in the regulation of devices placed on the market in the UK and will assess all allegations of non-compliance brought to its attention. An extensive and well-known system for the user reporting and the assessment of incidents of device failures exists, and if there is evidence that devices placed on the market are not compliant with the requirements of the directive, the MHRA has a range of powers and sanctions available under the Consumer Protection Act to deal with the problem.



11 July 2011 : Column WA132



11 July 2011 : Column WA133



11 July 2011 : Column WA134

NHS Supply Chain surgical instruments supplier-suppliers and contracts
SupplierContract Title

365 Healthcare Ltd

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

365 Healthcare Ltd

Single Use Surgical Instruments

365 Healthcare Ltd

Theatre Procedure Kits

365 Healthcare Ltd Count

3

3M Health Care Ltd

Theatre Procedure Kits

3M Health Care Ltd Count

1

Accrington Surgical Inst. Suppliers

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Accrington Surgical Inst. Suppliers Count

1

Albert Waeschle Ltd

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Albert Waeschle Ltd Count

1

Alkapharm UK Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Alkapharm UK Ltd Count

1

B & H Surgical Instrument Makers

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

B & H Surgical Instrument Makers Count

1

B Braun Medical Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

B Braun Medical Ltd Count

1

B Braun Medical Ltd (E-Direct)

Re-usable Surgical Instruments

B Braun Medical Ltd (E-Direct)

Single Use Surgical Instruments

B Braun Medical Ltd (E-Direct)

Theatre Procedure Kits

B Braun Medical Ltd (E-Direct) Count

3

Bailey Instruments Ltd

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Bailey Instruments Ltd Count

1

Bausch & Lomb Surgical (UK) Ltd

Ophthalmic Consumables

Bausch & Lomb Surgical (UK) Ltd Count

1

Boston Scientific Ltd UK

Endoscopy Consumables

Boston Scientific Ltd UK Count

1

Canonbury Products Ltd.

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Canonbury Products Ltd. Count

1

Carefusion UK 223 Ltd

Theatre Procedure Kits

Carefusion UK 223 Ltd Count

1

Conmed UK Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Conmed UK Ltd Count

1

Cook (UK) Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Cook (UK) Ltd Count

1

Decree Thermo Ltd

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Decree Thermo Ltd Count

1

Dental Dir. Billericay Dental Supp.

Dental Consumables

Dental Dir. Billericay Dental Supp. Count

1

Diagmed Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Diagmed Ltd Count

1

Disposable Medical Instruments Ltd

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Disposable Medical Instruments Ltd Count

1

DLS Medical

Theatre Procedure Kits

DLS Medical Count

1

Fannin UK Ltd

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Fannin UK Ltd Count

1

Frontier Multigate

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Frontier Multigate Count

1

Henry Schein Procare

Dental Consumables

Henry Schein Procare Count

1

Hospital Management & Supplies (HM & S)

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Hospital Management & Supplies (HM & S) Count

1

John Weiss & Son Limited

Ophthalmic Consumables

John Weiss & Son Limited Count

1

Johnson & Johnson Medical (E Direct)

Re-usable Surgical Instruments

Johnson & Johnson Medical (E Direct)

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Johnson & Johnson Medical (E Direct) Count

2

Judd Medical Ltd

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Judd Medical Ltd Count

1

Karl Storz Endoscopy (UK) Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Karl Storz Endoscopy (UK) Ltd Count

1

Kimal plc (Non Stock)

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Kimal plc (Non Stock) Count

1

Linvatec

Endoscopy Consumables

Linvatec Count

1

Lyall Willis & Co Ltd

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Lyall Willis & Co Ltd

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Lyall Willis & Co Ltd

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Lyall Willis & Co Ltd Count

3

Medical Innovations Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Medical Innovations Ltd Count

1

Medipack Healthcare Ltd

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Medipack Healthcare Ltd Count

1

Meditech Systems Ltd (Dorset)

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Meditech Systems Ltd (Dorset) Count

1

Molnlycke Health Care Ltd

Theatre Procedure Kits

Molnlycke Health Care Ltd Count

1

Monmouth Surgical Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Monmouth Surgical Ltd Count

1

Newco Surgical

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Newco Surgical Count

1

Olympus Keymed

Endoscopy Consumables

Olympus Keymed Count

1

Pelican Feminine Healthcare Limited

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Pelican Feminine Healthcare Limited Count

1

Pennamed Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Pennamed Ltd Count

1

Pennine Healthcare

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Pennine Healthcare

Theatre Procedure Kits

Pennine Healthcare Count

2

Pennine Healthcare Ltd

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Pennine Healthcare Ltd Count

1

Pentax UK Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Pentax UK Ltd Count

1

PH Medisavers Ltd

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

PH Medisavers Ltd Count

1

Phoenix Surgical Instruments Ltd

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Phoenix Surgical Instruments Ltd Count

1

Premier Endoscopy Limited

Endoscopy Consumables

Premier Endoscopy Limited Count

1

Pyramed Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Pyramed Ltd Count

1

Ream Surgical Ltd

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Ream Surgical Ltd Count

1

Richardson Healthcare Ltd

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Richardson Healthcare Ltd Count

1

Robinson Healthcare Limited

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Robinson Healthcare Limited

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Robinson Healthcare Limited Count

2

Rocialle Inhealth

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Rocialle Inhealth

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Rocialle Inhealth

Theatre Procedure Kits

Rocialle Inhealth Count

3

Rocket Medical plc

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Rocket Medical plc Count

1

Rocket Medical plc (E Direct)

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Rocket Medical plc (E Direct) Count

1

Seward Thackray Limited

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Seward Thackray Limited Count

1

Shermond(Div Bunzl Ret Sup)

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Shermond(Div Bunzl Ret Sup) Count

1

Single Use Surgical Ltd

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Single Use Surgical Ltd Count

1

Smiths Medical International Ltd

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Smiths Medical International Ltd Count

1

Surgical Holdings

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Surgical Holdings Count

1

Swann Morton Limited

Surgical Blades and Scalpels

Swann Morton Limited Count

1

Synergy H/C UK Ltd (V/Carus) Non Stock

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Synergy H/C UK Ltd (V/Carus) Non Stock

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Synergy H/C UK Ltd (V/Carus) Non Stock Count

2

Synergy Healthcare (UK) Ltd

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Synergy Healthcare (UK) Ltd Count

1

Synergy Healthcare (UK) Ltd A/C 36862

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Synergy Healthcare (UK) Ltd A/C 36862 Count

1

Teasdale Surgical Ltd

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Teasdale Surgical Ltd

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Teasdale Surgical Ltd Count

2

Timesco of London Ltd

Reusable Surgical Instruments [E-direct]

Timesco of London Ltd Count

1

Uniplex UK Ltd

Endoscopy Consumables

Uniplex UK Ltd Count

1

Unisurge International Ltd

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Unisurge International Ltd

Single Use Surgical Instruments

Unisurge International Ltd

Theatre Procedure Kits

Unisurge International Ltd Count

3

Vision Pharmaceuticals

Ophthalmic Consumables

Vision Pharmaceuticals Count

1

Vygon UK Ltd

Medical Packs And Sterile Supplemental Products

Vygon UK Ltd

Theatre Procedure Kits

Vygon UK Ltd Count

2

Asked by Lord Laird



11 July 2011 : Column WA135

Earl Howe: Manufacturers of surgical equipment must ensure that their devices meet the relevant safety, quality and performance requirements laid down in the European Union medical devices directive prior to placement on the United Kingdom market. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has a role in the surveillance and enforcement of the regulation of devices placed in the UK and will assess all allegations of non-compliance brought to its attention.

A system is in place for the user reporting and assessment of incidents of device failures. In the event of evidence emerging that devices placed on the market are not compliant with the requirements of the directive, the MHRA has a range of powers and sanctions available under the Consumer Protection Act to deal with the problem.

Housing Benefit

Question

Asked by Lord Whitty

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): The table below provides a list of the average weekly housing benefit by local authorities in London-March 2011:



11 July 2011 : Column WA136

Average weekly amount (4)

Camden

120.02

City of London

98.57

Hackney

124.33

Hammersmith and Fulham

127.28

Haringey

132.37

Islington

112.03

Kensington and Chelsea

159.35

Lambeth

112.81

Lewisham

111.62

Newham

136.06

Southwark

97.75

Tower Hamlets

122.92

Wandsworth

138.02

Westminster

196.64

Barking and Dagenham

110.86

Barnet

146.47

Bexley

111.31

Brent

169.86

Bromley

112.09

Croydon

123.21

Ealing

148.24

Enfield

151.34

Greenwich

95.72

Harrow

151.66

Havering

106.97

Hillingdon

126.41

Hounslow

120.02

Kingston Upon Thames

136.13

Merton

117.88

Redbridge

144.33

Richmond Upon Thames

120.62

Sutton

109.66

Waltham Forest

120.14

Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)

Notes:

1. Data are as at second Thursday of the month.

2. Average amounts of housing benefit are shown as pounds per week and rounded to the nearest penny.

3. March 2011 represents the latest data held.

4. The data refer to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.

5. Single Housing Benefit Extract is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns.

The data are available monthly from November 2008 and March 2011 and are the most recent data available.

Information on registered social landlords' average weekly rents is collected through the regulatory and statistical return survey by the Tenant Services Authority. The average weekly rent as at 31 March each year in each local authority is published on the Department for Communities and Local Government website. The link for this table is given below:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/141632.xlshttp://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/141440.xls.

Average weekly rents for local authority dwelling units are collected from housing revenue account subsidy forms. The average weekly rent as at 31 March each year is published on the Department for Communities and Local Government website. The link for this table is given below: http://www.communities. gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/1777605.xls/ http://www. communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/1777599.xls.

The department's English housing survey produces estimates of private rented sector market rents for England and for regional areas. The link for this table is given below: http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/ housing/xls/1806330.xls.

Immigration

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Browning): The published guidance for international students here under tier 4 of the points-based system who are sponsored by their Government or another overseas body makes it clear that they are expected to leave the country if their sponsorship comes to an end.



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Asked by The Earl of Clancarty

Baroness Browning: We do not routinely comment on individual cases.

The UK Border Agency is clear that passengers seeking entry for more than three months under the tier 5 concessions of the points-based system must obtain an entry clearance prior to travelling to the UK. Non-visa nationals who seek entry in this category for a period of less than three months are required to obtain a certificate of sponsorship before travelling to the UK.

Asked by The Earl of Clancarty

Baroness Browning: We do not routinely comment on individual cases.

The UK Border Agency is clear that passengers seeking entry for more than three months under the tier 5 concessions of the points-based system must obtain an entry clearance prior to travelling to the UK. Non-visa nationals who seek entry in this category for a period of less than three months are required to obtain a certificate of sponsorship before travelling to the UK.

Israel and Palestine

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The EU is following closely the situation in East Jerusalem and is concerned by the series of recent actions by the Israeli authorities. Based on recent discussions by the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem, the high representative proposed that an EU démarche be carried out with the Government of Israel at the earliest opportunity. This was carried out on 3 July and particular stress was laid on the need to avoid provocative or unilateral acts that would tend to undermine trust and confidence between the parties, and further complicate the search for a basis for the renewal of negotiations. This démarche had been cleared by all 27 EU member states.

The EU welcomes the recent decision by the Israeli Supreme Court to grant the same amount of subsidies to schools in West and East Jerusalem. Furthermore, the EU expresses its hope that the school curriculum

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in East Jerusalem will continue to respect the respective cultural heritage and identity. The EU raised this issue at the meeting of the quartet envoys on 24 June 2011.

The UK, along with EU partners, regularly raises our concerns with the Israeli Government about the application of due process and the treatment of Palestinian detainees, including where children are involved.

The noble Baroness may be interested to hear that alongside our existing projects, our consulate general in Jerusalem has recently secured funding to fund the UK Bar Committee for Human Rights to come to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in September 2011 to research a report about the treatment of children arrested and detained in the Israeli military court system.

Libya

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Tuaregs, like all Libyans, should be able to enjoy the full rights of citizenship, regardless of colour, gender, ethnicity or social status.

We have raised the need for an inclusive, democratic, future for Libya with the National Transitional Council. Its published views for a democratic Libya set out its commitment to make this a reality.

Local Government: Finance

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): We intend to make available this large volume of documents before the House rises for the Summer Recess.

National Citizen Service

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton



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Lord Taylor of Holbeach: The National Citizen Service is being piloted in a range of locations across England in summer 2011. Twelve organisations are leading delivery consortia to provide National Citizen Service opportunities for approximately 10,000 young people this year. The Government intend to expand the programme to reach 30,000 young people in summer 2012, the second year of the pilot phase, and have commissioned an independent evaluation to assess the success of the programme and to inform decisions about the further extension of the National Citizen Service. During the pilot phase, the Government are testing the approach in urban, suburban and rural locations, and at different scales to assess the effectiveness of different delivery approaches. The locations of the scheme in 2012 will be subject to the outcomes of a commissioning process for National Citizen Service delivery provision. Funding for the two-year pilot phase has been allocated to the Cabinet Office (Office for Civil Society). Decisions regarding the extension of the scheme beyond 2012 will be taken in light of the experience of the pilots and the outcomes of the independent evaluation.

New Waterways Charity

Questions

Asked by Lord Moynihan

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Henley): Targeted market research and modelling for British Waterways indicates that fundraising from sources such as regular donors or legacies could be worth up to £8.5 million (net) after 10 years, based on 130,000 regular donors taking part.

Achieving these projections will require investment in building up the donor population.

Asked by Lord Moynihan

Lord Henley: The Government's recent consultation "A New Era for the Waterways" makes the following suggestions as to the key charitable purposes of the new charity, which could be included in its constitution:

the stewardship of inland waterways for the public benefit, including:

their efficient operation and management;preserving and enhancing their availability for navigation;facilitating a broad range of other recreational and leisure uses for public health and well-being, including safeguarding free public access to towpaths;conserving and enhancing their built and natural heritage, including wildlife habitats;

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sustainable use and management of natural resources, which take account of climate change;use of the waterways as an educational resource (including museums);

the restoration of waterways; and

regeneration of waterways and the adjoining land corridors through which they pass.

The Government plan to publish their response to this consultation in the autumn. However, the final charitable purposes will require agreement with the charity's trustees and the Charity Commission.

Asked by Lord Moynihan

Lord Henley: Certain stakeholders currently pay for their use of the waterways, and this will continue under the new charity. The largest group are the boat licence fee payers but others include anglers and residents.

The new waterways charity will be able to generate income from a variety of new charitable and commercial sources, for example through fund-raising by the communities that live alongside the waterways. Government have committed to supporting the new waterways charity through a long-term funding agreement and by transferring the British Waterways commercial property portfolio to the charity, for the purposes of generating income for the waterways.

NHS: Peterborough Primary Care Trust

Question

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In each of the past three years, Peterborough Primary Care Trust has received only its own annual resource allocation. However, in 2009-10, the primary care trust ended the year with a deficit of £13 million.

Peterborough Primary Care Trust continues to improve its underlying finances, achieved by making the best use of its services, and has agreed plans in place to clear its legacy debt, in respect of the 2009-10 deficit, by 2012-13.

NHS: Staff

Question

Asked by Baroness Wheeler



11 July 2011 : Column WA141

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The National Health Service Information Centre monthly workforce statistics state that 250,509 people were employed in strategic health authorities (SHAs) and primary care trusts (PCTs) at the end of March 2010. The corresponding figure for the end of March 2011 is 215,214. This is a reduction of 14.1 per cent.

The department has not made any predictions about total numbers of SHA and PCT staff who will still be employed in April 2012 and April 2013.

The impact assessment, published alongside the Health and Social Care Bill, estimated that 60 per cent of staff employed in SHAs and the non front-line parts of PCTs would transfer to the new organisations. This is assumed to have been completed by April 2013.

The workforce statistics are from the NHS Information Centre monthly workforce statistics.

The impact assessment is available at: www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsLegislation/DH_123583.

A copy has already been placed in the Library.

A revised impact assessment will be published when the Bill is introduced into the House of Lords. This is in line with parliamentary protocol.

Pensions

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Rawlings: We are aware of the 2010 BBC pension scheme annual report, but the BBC is not required to seek Government approval to use licence fee revenue to meet its pension liabilities.

Public Houses

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): (a) The Evaluating the Impact of Initiatives 2011 report provides a clear demonstration of the excellent work that Pub is the Hub undertakes, providing innovative solutions that help communities and pubs work more

11 July 2011 : Column WA142

closely together, providing services to those communities and retaining that vital role which the community pub fulfils.

The Government support communities that, often with the help of organisations such as Pub is the Hub, are stepping in to save their local pub from closure. To support their efforts, the Government are giving communities increased powers to get involved. Through the Localism Bill, we aim to ensure that community organisations have a fair chance to bid to take over assets and facilities that are important to them, including local pubs. The department will also undertake a public consultation into the issue of restrictive covenants on pubs, with a focus on the impact they have on local communities.

The Government are also helping to support community pubs by extending the temporary increase in small business rate relief until 30 September 2012, reforming licensing regulations to make is easier to play live music, scrapping the 10 per cent rise in cider duty and banning the sale of alcohol below cost price, helping to stop the worst instances of deep discounting in shops.

(b) The Office of Fair Trading's final decision on the Campaign for Real Ale's supercomplaint regarding the use of tied agreements concluded that the pub sector in the UK is competitive overall and it has not found evidence of competition problems that are having a significant adverse impact on consumers.

The Government have been monitoring the implementation of new voluntary codes of practice by the industry. The Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee is currently undertaking a further inquiry into how the industry has self-reformed within the timeframe set out in 2010. The Government will be interested in the committee's findings and will respond accordingly once the process is complete.

Railways: Franchises

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Earl Attlee: The National Passenger Survey monitors customer satisfaction with all aspects of rail service quality, and is published biannually by Passenger Focus. All franchises have punctuality and performance benchmarks set out in their passenger charters. The public performance measure for each operator is published by the Office of Rail Regulation quarterly and is available at http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.2026#ppm. For the new InterCity West Coast franchise, which is the next major franchise to be let, the Government will require the franchisee to achieve passenger satisfaction targets in key areas, and publish the results at stations and online.



11 July 2011 : Column WA143

Railways: Incidents

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

Earl Attlee: Rail incidents, disruptions and diversion opportunities are operational issues for which Network Rail (NR) and train operators are responsible. The Department for Transport does not have operational responsibility over the railway, unlike the motorway network for which the department through its agency (Highway Agency) maintains operational responsibility.

The department is aware that NR and train operators have in place pre-agreed contingency plans which provide for maintaining operations as best as possible when incidents occur that disrupt services. These plans are regularly reviewed and updated, and take account of diversionary opportunities.

Roads: A184

Question

Asked by Lord Dixon

Earl Attlee: Following the serious delays to these essential maintenance works, the traffic restrictions on the A184 have now been removed and the remainder of works on site will be complete by 10 August 2011. The contractual implications of the overrun are still being assessed by the Highways Agency. The completion date is 38 weeks over the original programme.

Schools: European Schools

Question

Asked by Lord Boswell of Aynho

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The UK assumes the presidency of the European schools in August 2011. As holder of the presidency, the UK will be responsible for managing inherited business which will include: a follow up of the Court of Auditors' report on the system; increased autonomy for European schools; and pedagogical issues including ongoing reform of the European baccalaureate.



11 July 2011 : Column WA144

A priority for the UK presidency will be to review progress on the reform agenda adopted in 2009. This will include the funding of the system, cost sharing among member states and ensuring that the European schools concept is able to change and adapt to new economic conditions.

Proposals will be submitted for ministerial agreement shortly.

Schools: Inspection

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): These are matters for Ofsted. John Goldup, national director of development and strategy, has written to the noble Lord on behalf of HM Chief Inspector. Copies of his replies have been placed in the House Libraries.

Slavery

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government take the issue of modern slavery very seriously. The Home Office will shortly be publishing the Government's strategy on human trafficking. It will set out the Government's plan for combating human trafficking, which is a modern form of slavery. This will fulfil a commitment in the coalition programme for government to tackle human trafficking as a priority. The strategy will have four key aims: improved identification and care for the victims of trafficking, international action to stop trafficking happening in the first place, a stronger border at home to stop victims being brought in to the UK, and tougher law enforcement action to tackle the criminal gangs that orchestrate the crime.

The Government are applying to the European Commission to opt into the EU directive on human trafficking, which will improve co-ordination of our activity in this area on the European level.

While the issue of human trafficking is a Home Office lead, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) supports the UK Border Agency, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency and other law enforcement agencies in their work to tackle organised immigration crime, including the trafficking of people. Our migration delivery officers based in a number of posts overseas gather information and report trends. We also manage a cross-government fund that has financed projects to

11 July 2011 : Column WA145

build the capacity of Governments in source and transit countries to identify and prevent human trafficking, to protect victims and to prosecute perpetrators.

The Government are also a strong supporter of the work of the UN Special Rapporteur for Contemporary Forms of Slavery, Ms Gulnara Shahinian. The UK led the UN Human Rights Council resolution to renew the mandate of the special rapporteur in 2010 for a further three-year term. My honourable friend the Minister of State, Jeremy Browne, met Ms Shahinian in December 2010, and the FCO has made contributions of £20,000 in 2010 and £25,000 in 2011 towards her mandate.

Social Care: Funding

Questions

Asked by Baroness Smith of Basildon

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The additional funding for social care has been allocated in two distinct ways, through formula grant to local authorities and from the National Health Service to local authorities.

In 2011-12, an additional £530 million was allocated to local government in addition to existing departmental grants for social care. In order to support local flexibility and to reduce administrative burdens, this funding was allocated to local authorities through the local government formula grant. Formula grant is not hypothecated for different services and it is therefore not possible to determine how much of the additional funding through local government has been allocated for social care. However, we do receive local authorities' budgeted spend on adult social care through the revenue account data returns in June of each year. These data are publicly available.

In addition to funding through formula grant, the Government provided a specific allocation of £648 million to primary care trusts (PCTs) for 2011-12 for measures that support social care, which also benefit health. As part of our planning and assurance processes for 2011-12, we are holding strategic health authorities (SHAs) to account for ensuring that arrangements are in place between local authorities and PCTs for the funding to be transferred and objectives for the investment agreed.

Local authorities and the NHS have been working together to agree how this funding should be best used to support social care services. NHS planning assurance showed that all SHAs had confirmed there were local plans in place to agree the transfer. We will continue to get information on the progress of the money as the NHS financial reporting year progresses.

In addition to this funding, the Government allocated £150 million to PCTs in 2011-12 to develop local reablement services in the context of the post-discharge

11 July 2011 : Column WA146

support plans submitted to SHAs this December. It is for PCTs and local authorities locally to agree the plans for this funding.

In 2010-11, by making efficiency savings to central programmes, the department made available an extra £162 million to local health and care services to spend in 2010-11 on front-line services. In addition, £70 million was made available for reablement services in 2010-11.

A copy of the breakdown of the £162 million 2010-11 and £648 million 2011-12 allocations to PCTs for social care has been placed in the Library.

Asked by Lord Lipsey

Earl Howe: The commission's report provided a range of costs for a capped costs system, from £1.7 billion for a cap at £25,000 to £0.8 billion for a cap at £50,000. These costings are for 2010-11, and assume that people in residential care contribute £10,000 per annum for general living costs. The Government are now considering the recommendations, and do not have alternative costings available.

Taxation

Question

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government believe in a fair tax system and keep all taxes under review. Any changes are considered as part of the normal Budget process and in the context of the current economic climate.

The Budget 2011 set out the next steps in realising the Government's vision of a fair, simple and efficient tax system that rewards work, saving and personal responsibility. This supports the Government's strategy to increase social mobility in the UK.

Taxation: Avoidance

Questions

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): This Government are fully committed to tackling tax avoidance. We have set out a clear strategy and reported on the action being taken to put it into practice in the Budget document Tackling Tax Avoidance.



11 July 2011 : Column WA147

Tackling Tax Avoidance announced two new pieces of work to strengthen defences against tax avoidance. The first is a proposal to remove the cash-flow advantage that tax avoiders can get by using high-risk avoidance schemes. The second is to undertake a rolling review of high-risk areas of the tax code. The initial areas identified for complete review are income tax losses and unauthorised unit trusts. Later Budgets will announce further areas.

Since the 2011 Budget, proposals on the above have been published for consultation on the HMRC website at: http://customs.hmrc.gov.uk/ channelsPortalWebApp/channelsPortalWebApp. portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pageLibrary_ ConsultationDocuments&columns=1&id =CURRENTCONSULTATIONS.

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

Lord Sassoon: The latest tax gap estimates were published in September 2010 in Measuring Tax Gaps 2010, available on the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) website at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/measuring-tax-gaps-2010.htm.pdf.

This included the following estimates of the tax gap from avoidance in 2008-09:

avoidance of income tax, national insurance contributions, capital gains tax, estimated at around £1.4 billion;avoidance of corporation tax by businesses managed by HMRC's Large Business Service, estimated at around £2.9 billion;avoidance of corporation tax by large and complex businesses estimated at around £0.7 billion; andavoidance of stamp duty land tax, estimated at around £0.04 billion.

In addition, avoidance exists in other taxes and taxpayer populations but no separate estimates were produced of any associated tax gaps. As such, an estimate of the total tax gap due to avoidance was not published.

This publication also contained an illustrative breakdown of the tax gap by behaviour for 2007-08. This estimated that avoidance accounted for around 17.5 per cent of the total tax gap.

Measuring Tax Gaps 2011 will be published on 21 September 2011. HMRC intends to include further details about the avoidance risk to stamp duty land tax.

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

Lord Sassoon: Over the next four years, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will reinvest £917 million of the savings it makes in order to maximise additional revenues, which will include putting extra resource into tackling avoidance and evasion.



11 July 2011 : Column WA148

HMRC's business plan for 2011-12 shows a re- investment of £132 million, while indicative plans for the remaining years of the spending review period are £191 million, £268 million and £326 million, respectively.

The reinvestment will fund a range of measures, including: significantly increasing coverage of the mass market; tackling tax evasion; building on the existing one-to-one client relationship model for large businesses and wealthy individuals; tackling organised crime; and a range of interventions designed to collect more debt. Together, this should bring in around £7 billion each year by 2014-15 in additional revenues.

Telephone Calls: Prices

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

Baroness Rawlings: There have been no discussions between Ofcom and the Government on this particular matter. Ofcom is an independent regulator and the issue would be one for it to consider under its competition powers.

However, Ofcom is consulting on measures to standardize and simplify how a wide range of non-geographic numbers (03, 08, 09 etc) are priced. As part of this review Ofcom is considering, among other options, a proposal to specify maximum retail prices for non-geographic number ranges that would apply to all providers, and officials have met to discuss these proposals.

Maximum prices would protect consumers by allowing providers to give a much clearer statement of the cost of a call for each number range.

The proposal is subject to minor amendments to the Communications Act 2003 as part of Government's implementation of the revised EU framework. The Government have worked very closely with Ofcom on implementation of the framework. This included discussion of these amendments.

Transport: Semi-Trailers

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

Earl Attlee: None. The Commission has, however, invited us to delay implementing any regulations permitting longer semi-trailers until April 2012, as it is

11 July 2011 : Column WA149

currently considering making its own proposals on masses and dimensions of heavy goods vehicles and trailers.

UN Women

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

Baroness Verma: The UK has strongly supported the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, known as UN Women, since its creation. UN Women's strategic plan was adopted by its executive board on 30 June 2011. At that board the UK welcomed the priority areas outlined in the strategic plan. For example, tackling violence against girls and women and increasing women's political and economic empowerment will prove vital in improving the lives of millions. This is why the UK has decided to provide £10 million a year in core funding to UN Women for the next two years. UN Women now needs to focus on delivering results for girls and women across the world.



11 July 2011 : Column WA150

Zimbabwe

Question

Asked by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: We regularly discuss Zimbabwe with the South African Government and fully support ongoing efforts by President Zuma and SADC to broker agreement on further reform in Zimbabwe and to assist the development of a roadmap to free and fair elections.

We are aware of South African plans to offer permits to certain groups of Zimbabwe citizens currently resident in South Africa, and to take action to deport illegal immigrants. We have not engaged directly with the South African Government on this issue. We do, however, provide support to civil society groups working on issues of concern to migrants from Zimbabwe in South Africa.


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