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6 Feb 2012 : Column WA1

Written Answers

Monday 6 February 2012

Abortion

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Garden of Frognal: There has been no change in the rules allowing abortion advertising on television. The advertising rule changes recently announced relate to the provision of post-conception advice services.

The rules on the broadcast advertising of post-conception advice services are the responsibility of the advertising regulators, Ofcom, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). These bodies are independent and they set the standards for all broadcast advertising. The Government had no role in making these changes.

BCAP recently undertook two public consultations on proposed changes to the rules relating to the broadcast advertising of post-conception advice services and Ofcom has approved these changes. BCAP has issued a regulatory statement setting out the results of its consultation and the reasoning behind its decision to amend the rules in the BCAP code. This can be found at the following website: http://www.cap.org.uk/Media-Centre/2012/New-ad-rules-on-unplanned-pregnancy-advice.aspx.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has received 672 representations regarding the advertising of post-conception advice services since September 2011. This includes 669 from the public and three from MPs (two on behalf of constituents).

The advertising regulators are independent of Government and they are responsible for setting the standards for all broadcast advertising. However, the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport has powers under the Communications Act to issue directions in relation to prohibiting categories of broadcast advertising in exceptional circumstances.

The broadcast advertising rules are based on the principle that advertising of legally permitted products or services should be permitted unless there exists clear evidence of the potential for harm or serious offence. However, a range of products and services are currently prohibited from being advertised under the BCAP code, either because they may not legally be advertised or because of a clear risk of harm or serious or widespread offence to the audience or to society. These include, but are not limited to: all tobacco

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products; offensive weapons such as guns; prostitution and sexual massage services; obscene material; breath-testing devices and products that are intended to mask the effects of alcohol; and pyramid promotional schemes.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Garden of Frognal: There has been no change in the rules allowing abortion advertising on television. The advertising rule changes recently announced relate to the provision of post-conception advice services.

The rules on the broadcast advertising of post-conception advice services are the responsibility of the advertising regulators, Ofcom, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). These bodies are independent and they set the standards for all broadcast advertising. The Government had no role in making these changes.

BCAP undertook two public consultations on proposed changes to these rules and has carefully considered all the responses it received both for and against its proposed changes. BCAP's evaluation of these responses can be found at: http://www.cap.org.uk/CAP-and-BCAP-Consultations/Closed-consultations/BCAP-Consultation-on-PCAS.aspx.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport did not formally respond to the consultations.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Garden of Frognal: The Government have no powers to review advertisements before they are broadcast and have no plans to introduce additional legislation in this area.

There has been no change in the rules allowing abortion advertising on television. The advertising rule changes recently announced relate to the provision of post-conception advice services.

The rules on the broadcast advertising of post-conception advice services are the responsibility of the advertising regulators, Ofcom, the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). These bodies are independent of Government and they set the standards for all broadcast advertising. The Government had no role in making these changes.



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It is a condition of their broadcast licence with Ofcom that commercial TV channels and radio stations are responsible for ensuring that the advertisements they carry comply with the strict rules in the BCAP code. Broadcasters do this though the use of pre-broadcast clearance systems. Clearcast, a body set up by broadcasters, is responsible for pre-clearing television ads and the Radio Advertising Clearance Centre (RACC) is responsible for pre-clearing radio ads. However, pre-cleared ads can still be investigated and banned by the ASA if, following initial pre-clearance, complaints are received.

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

Baroness Northover: The UK does not consider that there is any general right to an abortion under international humanitarian law or international human rights law.

The Geneva Conventions contain a number of provisions for the provision of care for the wounded and sick in an armed conflict, which apply equally to women, men, girls and boys. The care to be provided will depend upon the facts of the individual case. Article 14(1) of the Convention Against Torture provides that states shall ensure in their legal systems that the victim of an act of torture obtains the means for "as full rehabilitation as possible". The means of rehabilitation and whether or not torture has taken place will depend on the facts of the individual case.

The Department for International Development's (DfID) position is that safe abortion reduces recourse to unsafe abortion and thus saves lives, and that women and adolescent girls must have the right to make their own decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and well-being. The July 2011 DfID practice paper clearly outlines the UK policy position on safe and unsafe abortion in developing countries.

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill

Baroness Northover: The July 2011 Department for International Development (DfID) practice paper clearly outlines the UK policy position on safe and unsafe abortion in developing countries. We are open to discussing our position with others who wish to learn more about or from our stance.

UK officials are engaged in regular working-level discussions with both US Government officials and non-government organisations who work to improve access to reproductive health.



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Armed Forces: Afghanistan

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): It is not possible to provide the information sought because until 2010-11 most costs were split by broad expenditure type (eg personnel, infrastructure, and equipment support) rather than by location. The 2010-11 cost for Kandahar airfield is estimated at some £80 million which includes £71 million of allocated costs and an assessed £9 million share of unallocated theatre costs. The Kandahar figure includes the cost of all UK activities at Kandahar, including combat air, UK strategic airhead for entry into theatre, in-theatre tactical air (fixed-wing and rotary) as well as a number of headquarters and other activities.

Atos Healthcare

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): There are 141 Atos assessment centres, they are all wheelchair accessible but 28 sites do not have an assessment room on the ground floor. Therefore the claimant who uses a wheelchair would be offered an alternative assessment centre or a domiciliary visit.

Aviation: Passenger Duty

Questions

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): Air passenger duty (APD) is not payable on flights departing from airports in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. The following airports, capable of taking dutiable aircraft, are situated in the Highlands and Islands region for the purpose of this exemption:

Barra;Benbecula;Campbeltown;

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Inverness;Islay;Kirkwall;Stornoway;Sumburgh;Tiree; andWick.

Flights from other areas of the UK to airports in this region are liable to APD at the appropriate rate.

Belfast City Airport is not an air passenger duty exempt airport.

Bank of England: Financial Policy Committee

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The interim Financial Policy Committee (FPC) has been asked to identify, monitor and publicise risks to the stability of the financial system. Recent financial stability reports have included discussion of potential risks to financial stability from the low level of risk-free interest rates.

The June 2011 report noted possible sources of risk from a sudden reversion of low yields on safe assets towards more typical levels, as well as from market participants seeking to generate higher returns through increased risk-taking in a low interest rate environment.

The December 2011 report noted that concerns over the outlook for global growth had led markets to expect a prolonged period of near-zero risk-free interest rates and that this might be associated with pressure on the net interest margins earned by UK banks on the stock of their UK household and corporate lending lasting for longer than previously expected.

Both of these reports are available on the Bank of England's website. The FPC will continue to monitor these, and other risks to financial stability.

Banking: Bonuses

Question

Asked by Lord Myners



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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Government are currently consulting on extending executive pay disclosure arrangements made under Project Merlin to eight executives below board level at all large banks from 2012 onwards. This is in addition to the financial sector-wide remuneration disclosure regime introduced by the Financial Services Authority, designed to facilitate better oversight of the relationship between pay and risk. These reforms will help ensure that UK disclosure requirements are the most comprehensive of any major financial centre.

Civil Service: Retirement

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The average age of retirement of senior civil servants in the Treasury over the period since 2001 has been 60. The Treasury does not hold information on the average pension paid to retired senior civil servants.

Cluster Munitions

Question

Asked by Lord Dubs

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEi) fair is a commercial event and decisions on the admission of exhibiting companies are a matter for the commercial organisers. However, officials in the Export Control Organisation of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, together with representatives from the police, HM Revenue and Customs and the UK Border Agency work closely with DSEi organisers to ensure that exhibitors are aware of their responsibilities. The contracts and terms and conditions that exhibitors must sign clearly state what is and what is not permissible. The overwhelming majority of exhibitors comply with these terms and conditions. By displaying material showing cluster munitions the exhibitor in question was in breach of their terms and conditions of their attendance. Therefore the organisers closed down the company's exhibition stand and acted quickly to have the material and the exhibitors removed from the exhibition.



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We will continue to emphasise to the organisers of the major UK defence exhibitions the importance of their exhibitors complying with the agreed terms and conditions of attendance to try to ensure that a repeat of this incident does not recur.

Coastal Communities Fund

Question

Asked by Lord Hutton of Furness

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): My department will be issuing a prospectus this month giving details of the design and delivery arrangements for the Coastal Communities Fund, to be administered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund. The application process for the new fund is expected to start in March.

Crime: Bail

Question

Asked by Lord Tyler

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The information requested is not collected centrally.

Crime: Rioting

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): Managing the budgets for the Metropolitan Police Service is a matter for the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. The Government have been clear that they will support the police with the cost of the disturbances. As such, the Government have agreed to reimburse police authorities and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime with 85 per cent of their operational costs and 100 per cent of their Riot (Damages) Act payments.

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath



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Lord Henley: The Prime Minister's comments following the August disorder indicated that the Government were ready to support the police with the costs of the riots. We have now confirmed that police authorities will receive 100 per cent of the payments made under the Riot (Damages) Act and 85 per cent of operational policing costs. We will consider later in the year, once final costs are known, if additional payments can be made in respect of operational costs incurred. We are working with affected police authorities to ensure that they receive prompt payment.

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Lord Henley: Any compensation paid out under the Riot (Damages) Act is the responsibility of police authorities and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime. The requirement to deduct payments received from other sources from the compensation awards made to victims is set out in Section 2 (2) of the Riot (Damages) Act. The Government's view is that in applying any deductions, police authorities must satisfy themselves that these other payments were for riot damage or loss for which the victim has also made a claim under the Riot (Damages) Act. Other payments to the victim not made to compensate for actual damage or loss, for example, payments from hardship funds to provide alternative temporary accommodation, should not be deducted.

Democratic Republic of Congo

Questions

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Wakefield

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK supports the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence guidance as a practical and sustainable part of the effort to reform the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mineral sector. We closely follow reporting from the OECD on the implementation of the guidance, as well as reporting from the United Nations Group of Experts on the situation in the east of DRC. The OECD reporting cycle ends in November 2012 when they will produce their final report on the first year of implementation, allowing us to make a full assessment of the effectiveness of the guidance.



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Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Howell of Guildford: We remain concerned about reports of irregularities, some serious, during the electoral process and call on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Electoral Commission (CENI) to investigate fully all such complaints. We await the final reports of international election observation missions, none of which have yet stated that the order of candidates, as published in the official election results, was incorrect.

In the run-up to the elections the UK lobbied the DRC authorities for all candidates to be able to campaign freely, and receive fair access to the media. Since the elections, our ambassador has met senior figures in the DRC security forces and pressed them to conduct themselves professionally and proportionately when dealing with opposition demonstrators. He has also met senior figures in the DRC Government and opposition leaders to encourage dialogue and the peaceful resolution of disputes.

Our ambassador has raised our concerns over the closure of opposition broadcasting outlets with the DRC Electoral Commission (CENI), and the DRC media council (CSAC) which was responsible for the closures.

Environment: Community Growing Spaces

Question

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Defra has not piloted any schemes using Government-owned land for community growing spaces.

EU: Taxation

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): There are no current proposals to introduce a harmonised corporate tax rate which would apply throughout the EU. The UK is committed to upholding tax sovereignty and ensuring that national governments retain the flexibility to shape their own tax policy.



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The European Commission has, however, issued a draft directive for a common consolidated corporate tax base. The UK continues to engage positively in discussions on this issue, but we will not agree to any proposal that might limit our ability to shape our own tax policy, or prevent us from achieving the most competitive corporate tax regime in the G20.

Asked by Lord Myners

Lord Sassoon: The energy tax directive [2003/96/EC] originally came into effect in January 2004. Last year, the European Commission proposed a revision of this directive. The Government's views on the proposal are set out in the Explanatory Memorandum [9270/11] which was submitted to Parliament in June 2011.

The Government broadly support the approach of the current directive, which sets EU minimum rates for taxation of energy products. We accept there is now a case for reviewing these, including to take account of accumulated inflation since these rates were set in 2003. The European Commission's proposal did not suggest uniform rates of energy taxation across the European Union and the Government would not support any such proposal.

Gaza

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): My right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), raised the issue of restrictions on Gaza with Israeli Defence Minister Barak in November 2011. Our officials in Tel Aviv discussed the need to allow building materials into Gaza with the Israeli Prime Minister's Office in January 2012 and with the Israeli Ministry of Defence in December 2011. We continue to have concerns over the impact on the quality of education available for children in Gaza.

We have consistently lobbied the Israeli Government at ministerial and official level, in close co-ordination with the office of the quartet representative and European Union (EU) partners. As well as continuing to press the Israeli Government bilaterally to allow more building materials into Gaza, we are working with EU partners to take stronger collective action. The Department for International Development supports the United Nations (UN) Access Co-ordination Unit to work with the UN, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and aid agencies to facilitate the transfer of vital assistance in and out of Gaza.



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Government Departments: Staff

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The number of serving civil servants prosecuted or convicted of a criminal offence within BIS or predecessor departments is less than five in total since the department was created. The exact number and breakdown requested cannot be provided, in order to prevent possible identification of individuals.

I have asked the relevant agencies to reply direct with details for their staff.

Health: AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Baroness Northover: In response to the High-level Panel report, Consolidated Transformation Plan, a new strategy and a set of other governance reforms were approved by the Global Fund Board on 21 and 22 November last year. Taken together, these reforms are intended to ensure that the fund improves its performance and better meets the needs of poor people affected by the three diseases.

Department for International Development Ministers and officials have been in regular contact with the fund leadership and secretariat about the High-level Panel and the fund's financial situation. In November, the UK was able to bring forward a portion of its existing commitment to the fund's work, in order to avoid disrupting existing essential treatments and services. The UK's readiness to increase its funding to the Global Fund is dependent on the extent to which it is able to take forward the Consolidated Transformation Plan and deliver on the recommendations of the panel's report in implementing its strategy which will clearly be a key factor in the UK's decisions on future funding.

Health: Speech Therapy

Question

Asked by Lord Lester of Herne Hill



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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The report makes a number of specific recommendations for the Department of Health and Department for Education and we will together consider them all very carefully.

There are already initiatives being undertaken by Government that are seeking to improve health-related services for children, including those who need support with speech and language problems.

On 26 January, we launched the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Strategy, which aims to maximise health outcomes that matter the most to children, young people, their families and the professionals who support them. It will also show how all parts of the health system, with partners, will contribute to enabling every child and young person to reach their full potential. The broad scope of the strategy will help to ensure that the issues in the report are considered.

In addition, the Department of Health and Department for Education have been working together to develop the Government's Green Paper Support And Aspiration-A New Approach to SEN, published in March 2011, which also offers opportunities to address these issues. Twenty pathfinders covering 31 local authorities and primary care clusters have been appointed to test the ambition of the Green Paper, including a new single assessment process with a single education, health and care plan, along with the option of a personal budget for children and families that would benefit from one. A response to the Green Paper is due to be published shortly.

Housing

Question

Asked by Baroness Thomas of Winchester

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Secure tenants have an absolute right to take in lodgers and assured tenants have the right to take in lodgers, subject to any terms in their tenancy agreements. We are not aware that these rules create practical difficulties for social tenants wanting to rent out a room and we have no plans to simplify them further.

Hungary

Questions

Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Minister for Europe, my right honourable friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington) has spoken to his Hungarian counterpart, Ms Eniko Gyori, about recent developments

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in Hungary. Mr Lidington outlined the UK position-that we support the European Commission's approach, and encourage constructive Hungarian engagement to address any concerns raised as a result of the Commission's analysis of recent legislative changes. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials continue to maintain regular contact with their Hungarian counterparts.

Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

Lord Howell of Guildford: On 17 January, the European Commission released its analysis on Hungarian legislation noting areas of incompatibility with European Union (EU) Treaty obligations. We support the Commission's conclusions and are in close contact with EU partners on this issue.

We welcome the commitment expressed by the Hungarian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to engage constructively with the Commission, and urge them to make any necessary changes to ensure compatibility with European norms.

Asked by Lord Hylton

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Minister for Europe, my right honourable friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr Lidington) has had a number of meetings with his Hungarian counterpart, during which all these issues were raised.

In a recent conversation with Eniko Gyori, the Minister for Europe outlined the UK position-that we support the European Commission's approach, and encourage constructive Hungarian engagement to address any concerns raised as a result of the Commission's analysis of recent legislative changes.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials continue to maintain regular contact with their Hungarian counterparts and are monitoring the implementation of both laws closely.

Immigration

Question

Asked by Lord Laird



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The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) handed down the judgment in the case of Ruiz Zambrano (C-34/09) in March 2011. The Home Office is considering the implications of this judgment and its effect on the rights of third country nationals with a dependent Union citizen and is in the process of finalising its policy, including possible changes to the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (the Regulations) that would be required in order to enable the issue of documentation on this basis. To date no documentation confirming a right of residence on the basis of the Ruiz Zambrano judgment has therefore been issued.

However, a certificate of application (CoA) will be issued to persons who can demonstrate that they potentially meet the scope of the judgment. This will in turn enable a person to work and reside in the UK whilst their application is pending and final Home Office policy is established.

International Monetary Fund

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The UK strongly believes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) must have adequate resources to fulfil its systemic responsibilities. This is particularly important given the current vulnerabilities in the global economy.

But, as yet, there is no international agreement about the timing, extent, or exact method through which any increase to IMF resources would be delivered.

Israel

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have regular discussions with the Government of Israel on a wide range of nuclear-related issues. Israel has not declared a nuclear weapons programme. As a non-signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) we consistently encourage Israel to sign up to the NPT and call on them to agree a full scope Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.



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Israel and Palestine: West Bank

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government continue to believe that the way to resolve the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is through negotiations, resulting in two states, giving the Palestinian people the state they need and deserve and the Israeli people long-term security and peace.

We are making clear to both parties that the window for the two-state solution is closing and there is an urgent need to make progress towards resolving the conflict.

Should we judge the two-state solution is no longer a viable option, we will revise our approach in consultation with key partners in the international community.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

Lord Howell of Guildford: We are concerned at reports that Bedouin families were forcibly displaced from their homes at Anata on 23 January. Demolitions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank are illegal and deeply unhelpful to efforts to bring a lasting peace to the Middle East conflict.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt) raised concerns over plans to move West Bank Bedouin communities during my visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 7-10 January. Mr Burt visited the Bedouin community school at Khan al Ahmar to give profile to this issue and subsequently discussed it with Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on 9 January. Our officials at the embassy in Tel Aviv regularly discuss our concerns with the Israeli authorities.

The Israeli authorities state that they are yet to finalise their plans and will consult fully with Bedouin communities before moving ahead. The UK continues to encourage the Israeli Government to carry through on this commitment, to comply fully with their obligations under international law and to ensure that any decision reached on the movement of Bedouin communities should be made with their full consent and not result in a forcible transfer.



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Officials at our embassy in Tel Aviv are monitoring this situation closely. While they have not raised the specific issue of Anata with the Israeli authorities yet, they are planning to do so.

Migrant Workers: Bulgarians and Romanians

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): In considering any application for welfare benefits, a range of information and evidence to confirm an individual's status must be provided. In the case of self-employed people, including Romanian and Bulgarian nationals, this will include proof of the work they are undertaking and the amount they are earning. If they are exempt from paying tax and national insurance contributions they should provide their small earnings exemption certificate issued by HMRC to confirm that they are not required to pay as their earnings are below the tax and national insurance threshold. Self-employed Romanian and Bulgarian nationals, like any other self-employed person in Britain, may claim housing benefit while they are working.

During periods of unemployment Romanian and Bulgarian nationals who are normally self-employed only have a right to reside in the UK if they are self-sufficient. They are not able to claim jobseeker's allowance if they have not previously completed 12 months' work under the worker authorisation scheme.

Misuse of Drugs Act 1971

Questions

Asked by Baroness Meacher

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): The available information required to answer this Question is currently being collated. I will write to the noble Baroness as soon as it is available. A copy will be placed in the House Library.

Museums and Galleries

Questions

Asked by The Earl of Clancarty

Baroness Rawlings: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Minister for Culture have been following the unfortunate situation of the Wedgwood Museum Trust Limited and its outstanding collection for some time. If the collection is to be sold, DCMS will work with all those involved, including the administrators and the Pension Protection Fund, to explore the possibilities for keeping the museum open and allow time for a fundraising campaign to keep the collection on public display. DCMS will work with the cultural world to help seek a viable solution for the collection which enables it to remain together and on public display.

Asked by Lord Smith of Finsbury

Baroness Rawlings: Following the judge's ruling on the 20 December 2011, the Minister for Culture held a meeting about the Wedgwood Museum and its collection with a number of interested parliamentarians and key cultural organisations, including Arts Council England (ACE). Officials at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport also have had a number of meetings with the chair of the Wedgwood Museum Trust Ltd ahead of the court hearing, and a conversation immediately following the ruling. No discussions have taken place with the National Museums Directors' conference.

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Ministers and officials will continue to have discussions with ACE and the Wedgwood Museums Trust Ltd about the implications of the ruling.

Palestine

Question

Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

Baroness Northover: A number of studies by respected research institutions have reviewed textbooks used in Palestinian schools, and the UK Government have noted their findings. The studies found no evidence of anti-Semitism, incitement or promotion of hatred against Israel. One did identify a need for textbooks to include more balanced messages on sensitive historical and political issues, a message which we support. We have confirmed with the Palestinian Authority and with the UN Relief and Works Agency that these textbooks are used in all Palestinian schools in Gaza and the West Bank which benefit from UK funding.

People Trafficking

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The UK Border Agency is currently considering its detailed response to the report and will be providing it to the Children's Commissioner shortly. The agency has already responded in positive terms to the report's main recommendation which was that "interviewing, beyond the gathering of basic identity data, should be postponed until after a child has had a period of some days (or longer if deemed necessary by a childcare professional) to recover from their journey, and so that they have the opportunity to instruct a legal representative". The agency had already complied with this recommendation at Dover.

The agency is aware of the press release issued by the Centre for Social Justice in which it raises concerns about trafficked adults. The agency has noted the points made by the centre and will take them into account in future policy development.



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Philippines

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our embassy in Manila continues to monitor both cases. The Philippine police are conducting investigations. They have made arrests in connection with the Tentorio case and say they are making progress in the Guarin case.

The Philippines has a high rate of contract killings and the victims have included journalists, activists, politicians, businesspeople and individuals involved in family disputes. Our embassy regularly raises with the authorities the need to end impunity for all such killings and has been supportive of the European Union's recent Justice Support Programme to improve Philippine capacity to tackle extra-legal killings.

Ports and Harbours

Questions

Asked by Lord Berkeley

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): There has been no further funding by the East of England Development Agency or the Homes and Communities Agency for Eastport since completion of

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the new harbour. Total East of England Development Agency funding prior to the transfer of the asset to the Homes and Communities Agency was £8,599,000.

Under the funding agreement between East of England Development Agency and EastPort, and now the Homes and Communities Agency, there is a bar on sale or transfer prior to 24 May 2032 except for subleases to terminal operators and port users.

The EastPort project has been included within the 2000-2006 European Regional Development Fund monitoring programme. Discussions with the chief executive of EastPort UK have taken place and no issues have been identified as the asset is still in place and is being used for the purposes as originally funded.

Any business that moves into the enterprise zone between April 2012 and 31 March 2015 will receive a business rate discount up to £275,000 over a five year period. The boundaries of the zone with respect to business rate discounts will shortly be confirmed through regulations.

A map of the relevant part of the proposed Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft enterprise zone area has been placed in Library of the House.

Railways: Chorley Flying Arches

Question

Asked by Lord Hoyle

Baroness Rawlings: The Minister for Tourism and Heritage does not have responsibility to ensure the listed flying arches over rail track in Chorley are replaced. The 16 flying arches in the railway cutting were Grade II listed on 21 February 1984. Responsibility for maintenance, repair and replacement remains with the owner. Listed building consent is required for any works of alteration, extension or demolition which would affect their character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. In determining listed building consent, the local planning authority must have regard to "Planning Policy Statement 5: Planning for the Historic Environment".

Railways: Network Rail

Questions

Asked by Lord Hoyle

Earl Attlee: Network Rail is a private sector company, independent of Government and subject to economic regulation by the independent Office of Rail Regulation. The Government have no locus to intervene in Network Rail's operational decision-making.



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However, the Government have a legitimate interest in ensuring that the company delivers value for money on the taxpayer funding it receives. Advised by the Office of Rail Regulation, the Government set out the outputs they wish to buy from the railway over a five-year control period via the High Level Output Specification and the statement of funds available. The regulator monitor's Network Rail's progress in delivering these and holds them to account for any failings. Ministers and officials, in turn, meet with the Office of Rail Regulation from time to time to review progress and emerging issues.

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Earl Attlee: This is an operational matter for Network Rail as owner and operator of the national network. Network Rail has its own operational arrangements and policies relating to litter clearance consistent with current legislation.

Railways: West Coast Franchise

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): The four short listed bidders for the West Coast franchise will be expected to consider what opportunities exist for additional track access rights over the life of the franchise. Additionally, they will be expected to consider whether they will apply for such rights, the likelihood of either them or an open access operator gaining such rights and the corresponding potential financial impact as part of their bid.

Roads: Street Signs

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Earl Attlee: Within the United Kingdom, the Highways Agency is responsible for operating, maintaining and improving the strategic road network which incorporates the majority of England's network of motorways and major A roads. There are 194 street signs on the strategic road network which are powered either wholly

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or partially using solar photovoltaics. Of these, 149 are on major A roads and 45 are on motorways. Included in the total figure of 194 are 32 bollards illuminated either wholly or partially using solar photovoltaics.

Local roads are the responsibility of local highway authorities, roads in Wales are the responsibility of the Welsh Government and roads in Scotland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland.

South Sudan

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We are very concerned about the conflict in Jonglei state, which has displaced an estimated 168,000 people. The causes of conflict in Jonglei are complex, with resource competition between different tribal groups having been complicated by the increased availability of arms and activities of rebel militias in recent years. Past grievances and the desire for revenge further fuel the spiral of violence. Protection of civilians should be the first priority, and we support the efforts of the Government of South Sudan, supported by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, in that regard. It is important now to prevent reprisals and break the cycle of violence. Our Ambassador in Juba has met the South Sudanese Vice President and the Acting Defence Minister to discuss the Government's plans for a reconciliation and peace process in Jonglei involving the church, local and central leadership and civil society. We continue to urge the Government of South Sudan to redouble efforts to defuse tension and find permanent means of resolving differences between communities.

Statutory Instruments

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The first table below sets out the total number of Statutory Instruments laid by the Home Office in each parliamentary Session since 2005 which were reprinted due to defective drafting or other errors.



6 Feb 2012 : Column WA23

The second table below sets out the cost of each reprinting and the part of the Home Office which paid for the reprinting (the reason why more Statutory Instruments are listed in the second table than are recorded in the first table is because some of the Statutory Instruments were reprinted more than once).

The Home Office no longer keeps a record of whether Statutory Instruments laid before the 2005-06 parliamentary Session were reprinted.

Table 1
Parliamentary SessionNo. of SIs reprinted due to defective drafting or other errors

2010 - 12 (25/05/10 - present)

4

2009 - 10 (18/11/09 - 08/04/10)

6

2008 - 09 (03/12/08 - 12/11/09)

5

2007 - 08 (06/11/07 - 26 /11/08)

5

2006 - 07 (15/11/06 - 30/10/07)

6

2005 - 06 (17/05/05 - 08/11/06)

8



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6 Feb 2012 : Column WA26



6 Feb 2012 : Column WA27

Table 2
S.I. No.S.I. title (Laid instruments only)Reprinting costs £Who paid

2011 No. 2199

The Misuse of Drugs (Licence Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2011

160

Drugs and Alcohol Unit

2011 No. 2468

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Responsible Authorities) (Amendment) Order 2011

160

Drugs, Alcohol and Community Safety Directorate

2011 DRAFT

The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2011

320

UKBA Charging Policy Team

2011 DRAFT

The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2011

160

UKBA Charging Policy Team

2011 DRAFT

The Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Order 2011

427.67

UKBA Charging Policy Team

2010 No. 123

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Human Intelligence Sources: Matters Subject to Legal Privilege) Order 2010

370

Communications Directorate (CD)

2010 No. 480

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Communications Data) Order 2010

450

OSCT

2010 No. 521

The Regulation of Investigatory Power (Directed Surveillance and Covert Human Intelligence Sources) Order 2010

0

OSCT

2010 No. 1067

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Intervention Orders) (Amendment) Order 2010

320

CD

2010 No. 1070

The Police Authority and Metropolitan Police Authority (Amendment) Regulations 2010

320

CD

2010 No. 1180

The Identity Cards Act 2006 (Provision of Information with Consent) Regulations 2009 (Amendment) Regulations 2010

320

CD

2009 DRAFT

The Immigration (Biometric Registration) (Amendment No.2) Regulations 2009

330

CD

2009 DRAFT

The Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 (Foreign Travel Notification Requirements) Regulations 2009

340

CD

2009 No. 1033

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Responsible Authorities) Order 2009

320

CD

2009 No. 1229

The Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) (Amendment) (No. 3) Order 2009

320

CD

2009 No. 1233

The Immigration (Passenger Transit Visa) (Amendment) (No.4) Order 2009

320

CD

2008 No. 3146

The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Codes of Practice) (Revisions to Code A) (No.2) Order 2008

70

CD

2008 DRAFT

The Local Authorities (Alcohol Disorder Zones) Regulations 2008

525

CD

2008 DRAFT

The Local Authorities (Alcohol Disorder Zones) Regulations 2008

525

CD

2008 DRAFT

The Police (Conduct) Regulations 2008

1155.74

CD

2007 DRAFT

The Police Reform Act 2002 (Standard Powers and Duties of Community Support Officers) Order 2007

140

CD

2007 DRAFT

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (Additional Authorities) Order 2007

170.91

CD

2007 No. 475

The Accession (Immigration and Worker Authorisation) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

140

CD

2007 No. 1079

The Criminal Justice Act 2003 (Surcharge) (No 2) Order 2007

104.08

CD

2007 No. 1335

The Local Probation Boards (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

107.32

CD

2007 No. 1387

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Sites under Section 128) (Amendment) Order 2007

455.87

CD

2007 No. 3012

The Accession (Worker Authorisation and Worker Registration) (Amendment) Regulations 2007

140

CD

2007 No. 3447

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (Data Sharing Code of Practice) (Revocation) Order 2007

70

CD

DRAFT 2006

The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (Juxtaposed Controls) (Amendment) Order 2006

240

CD

2006 No. 824

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 (Designated Activities) (Amendment) Order 2006

0

CD

2006 No. 1050

The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (Suspension of Custody Officer Certificate) (Amendment) Regulations 2006

0

CD

2006 No. 1442

The Police (Promotion) (Amendment) Regulations 2006

0

CD

2006 No. 1548

The Immigration (Leave to Remain) (Prescribed Forms and Procedures) (Amendment) Regulations 2006

0

CD

2006 No. 1804

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 (Designated Activities) (Amendment No. 2) Order 2006

0

CD

2005 No. 2358

The Immigration (Leave to Remain) (Prescribed Forms and Procedures) (No. 2) Regulations 2005

4247.67

CD

2005 No. 2834

The Police (Amendment) Regulations 2005

140.60

CD

Sudan

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Northover: We are deeply concerned at the continued lack of humanitarian access in the conflict areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile State, and the impact this is having on the large numbers of displaced people in these areas. We particularly welcome the UN Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs' engagement on the issue, and are working with her team to support her efforts. We are also working closely with our international partners, including the US, on a lasting solution for the delivery of humanitarian aid, and will continue to exert pressure to achieve humanitarian access with direct contact with the Sudanese Government.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We follow developments in Southern Kordofan closely and are greatly concerned by the ongoing conflict as well as its impact on civilians. We are aware of the reports by the Satellite Sentinel Project. This conflict has already blocked many routes out of Southern Kordofan state, and we would be concerned by any actions to block them further. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for North West Norfolk (Mr Bellingham), raised the need to end the conflict in Southern Kordofan and ensure full humanitarian access when he met the Sudanese Foreign Minister at the African Union summit in January.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Lord Howell of Guildford: We are greatly concerned by reports that the Sudanese Armed Forces have carried out aerial bombardments in South Sudan and condemn any action that puts civilians at risk. Ministers and officials have pressed the importance of both sides refraining from military action or support across borders with senior government and military figures in both Sudan and South Sudan.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

Baroness Northover: The Republic of Sudan agreed to take on all of the debt at secession on the proviso that significant progress towards debt relief is made within two years. On this basis South Sudan would not require debt relief. Sudan's debt amounts to roughly $38 billion and is owed mainly to Gulf States, China, and Paris Club countries, plus a number of international organisations and commercial creditors.

As we have consistently made clear to the Sudanese Government, debt relief remains conditional on the need to see genuine progress toward inclusive peace and justice throughout the country, and resolving the outstanding issues from the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Ongoing conflicts and human rights concerns would play an important part.



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Asked by Baroness Cox

Baroness Northover: We share the United States' concerns about Southern Kordofan and continue to urge for an immediate cessation of hostilities and full humanitarian access to all those in need of assistance. UK officials in Khartoum are working with the broader humanitarian community to monitor the levels of malnutrition and other needs and regularly engage the Government of Sudan on this issue.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): According to the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as of 31 December 2011 around 300,000 people have been internally displaced or severely affected by the conflict in the state of South Kordofan. Additionally 20,000 have fled to South Sudan and 35,000 to Khartoum. The lack of independent access means that there is no reliable estimate of the number of civilians killed in the state.



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Transport: Overcrowding

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Earl Attlee: The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is the independent safety regulator for Britain's railways. ORR has published a Health and Safety at Work Act Enforcement Policy Statement, which may be found at: http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/upload/pdf/hswa- enforcement-policy-statement-020810.pdf.

The number of passengers that can be carried in public service vehicles is set out in the Public Service Vehicles (Carrying Capacity) Regulations 1984, which have been in force since 1984. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has responsibility to take any appropriate action under these regulations following investigation of any alleged infringement.

World Book Day

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Baroness Rawlings: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport intends to mark World Book Day 2012 on its digital channels. This is following a well-received engagement exercise in 2011 involving its website, Twitter account, its arm's-length bodies and members of the public. The department's digital communications team is now drawing up plans for this activity and will finalise the details in the weeks leading up to World Book Day on the 1 March.


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