4 July 2012 : Column WA167

4 July 2012 : Column WA167

Written Answers

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Academy for Healthcare Science

Question

Asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much government funding the Academy for Healthcare Science (1) received in each of the past two years, and (2) will receive in each of the next three years. [HL1090]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In each of the past two years, the Academy for Healthcare Science has received funding from the multi professional education and training (MPET) budget as follows:

2010-11— £200,000; 2011-12—£250,000; andfor 2012-13 it will receive £100,000 departmental programme funding and a further £350,000 MPET funding.

This funding is set against a number of programmes and projects that the academy is delivering for the system.

Future funding to support the work of the academy is the subject of ongoing discussions.

Armed Forces: Aircraft

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 25 June (WA 2), whether the Commando Helicopter Forces and other Royal Navy units were working to “4 in 20” if the separation was for operational reasons.[HL1155]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Harmony is defined differently by each service. For the Naval Service, this is 660 days separated service over a rolling three year period. This also applies to Commando Helicopter Force (managed by Joint Helicopter Command (JHC)). However, it is the intent of JHC that units do not deploy for more than one period in every five.

Armed Forces: Redundancy

Question

Asked by Lord Craig of Radley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, when selecting personnel of the Armed Forces for compulsory redundancy, what consideration was given to the proximity of their immediate pension point.[HL954]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): When selecting personnel of the Armed Forces for compulsory redundancy no consideration was given to the proximity of the immediate pension point. As we reduce the size of the Armed Forces, our priority is to ensure that the services maintain the correct balance of those skills and experience, across the rank structures, which are required to deliver operational capability now and in the future, and it is this which has determined the redundancy fields.

The Armed Forces redundancy schemes pay significantly larger tax free redundancy compensation lump sums to those who narrowly miss out on immediate incomes. Any pension rights that have been earned will also be preserved, meaning that an index linked pension and further tax-free lump sum become payable at age 60 or 65, depending on pension scheme.

Whereas the majority of other ranks normally have to serve for 22 years before receiving an immediate income, the Armed Forces redundancy schemes reduce this requirement to 18 years. This is a concession of four years, which will enable many redundees to receive an immediate income for which they would otherwise not have qualified.

Contraception

Question

Asked by Baroness Gould of Potternewton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of restrictions in access to contraception services in England; and how they will ensure that women of all ages in England are able to access a choice of contraception.[HL1160]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Government recognise that easy access to the full range of contraception provision is an important part of health care, helping people to make informed decisions about how to avoid unintended pregnancy and plan their families.

Current legislation requires primary care trusts (PCTs) to provide open-access contraception services for all people in their local areas, and to provide reasonable access to all methods of contraception. It is for PCTs, with their knowledge of local need, to determine how they can best fulfil these legislative requirements.

From 1 April 2013, local authorities will, through secondary legislation, be mandated to commission comprehensive, open access contraception advice and services, and confidential open-access testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, similar to those currently commissioned by PCTs.

The Government will be publishing their sexual health policy document later this year which will set out the evidence base for how all sexual health provision can be improved.

Creative Industries: Loans

Question

Asked by Lord Cotter

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of small and medium-sized enterprises in the creative industries they envisage will access finance under the economic stimulus package announced on 15 June. [HL936]

4 July 2012 : Column WA169

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): The Bank of England and the Treasury are working together on the design of the scheme. Further details will be released in the coming weeks, but the scheme is not intended to be targeted at particular sectors of the UK non-financial economy.

Egypt

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to make representations to the Government of Egypt concerning (1) the freedom of worship of the Coptic community, and (2) the welfare and civil rights of the Copts.[HL1054]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): In his letter of congratulations of 24 June 2012 to the President-elect of Egypt, Dr Mohammed Morsi, the Prime Minister, my right honourable friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) highlighted the importance of national reconciliation and protection of human rights. In his statement of the same date the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) stated the importance for the new Egyptian Government of upholding human rights, including the rights of religious minorities.

Ministers have raised the issue of sectarian violence in Egypt on a number of occasions with the Egyptian authorities. We have urged them to revisit policies which discriminate on the basis of religion, establish the conditions for pluralist and non-sectarian politics, and enshrine the freedom of religion for all faiths in the new constitution and in law. As transition continues in Egypt under Dr Morsi's presidency, we will continue to monitor the Government's approach towards all aspects of human rights, including those of religious minorities.

Exports

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their policy towards export substitution in the United Kingdom economy.[HL1137]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The UK is a strong supporter of free trade and investment. We have a very effective policy of promoting UK exports including through the work of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), which provides information and advice to businesses about trading internationally and investing in the UK. Further detail on our strategy for securing the benefits of trade is set out in the trade and investment White Paper which can be viewed at: http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/international-trade-investment-and-development/docs/t/11-717-trade-investment-for-growth.pdf

4 July 2012 : Column WA170

Extradition

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will review the United Kingdom’s extradition laws and agreements.[HL1118]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): On 8 September 2010, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary announced there was to be an independent review of the UK's extradition arrangements.

This review was chaired by Sir Scott Baker. The review panel published their report on 18 October 2011.

The review made a number of recommendations which the Home Secretary is currently considering. The Government will announce what action they will take in response to the review once the Home Secretary has completed her deliberations.

Gambia

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what specific issues were raised by the European Union delegates at the eleventh Article 8 political dialogue session between The Gambia and the European Union on 6 June; and what responses were given by the Gambian delegates to each of the issues raised.[HL1072]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Article 8 discussions with the Gambian Government cover a number of economic and developmental matters as well as a broad range of human rights issues. At the request of the Gambian Government, discussion is regarded as confidential between the two parties.

Gaza

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what actions they are considering to assist in bringing an end to the Gaza blockade, in line with their commitment to human rights and international law.[HL1006]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): In close co-ordination with our European Union (EU) partners and the office of the quartet representative, the UK regularly makes representations at both ministerial and official level to the Government of Israel on the urgent need to ease restrictions on Gaza.

We are clear that Israeli restrictions on movements of goods and people do serious damage to the economy and living standards of ordinary people in Gaza. The current situation fosters radicalisation and empowers Hamas. An improved economy is not only essential for the people of Gaza, but firmly in Israel's security interests.

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The Secretary of State for International Development, my right honourable friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell), and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), discussed these issues during their respective visits to the region in December 2011 and January 2012. Mr Burt subsequently raised this issue with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Ayalon. Our ambassador to Tel Aviv also raised the issue with Prime Minister Netanyahu's Chief Negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho, and the Israeli Co-ordinator of Government Activity in the Territories, General Dangot, in March.

We continue to discuss this issue with EU, other international counterparts and humanitarian organisations. EU Foreign Ministers issued conclusions from the Foreign Affairs Council on 14 May 2012 stating:

“Fully recognising Israel's legitimate security needs, the EU continues to call for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from the Gaza Strip, the situation of which is unsustainable as long as it remains politically separated from the West Bank. Despite limited progress, the EU urges the Government of Israel to take further meaningful and far-reaching steps allowing for the reconstruction and economic recovery of the Gaza Strip, including by allowing trade with the West Bank and Israel”.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the blockade on the prospects for the long-term future of the Gazan fishing industry.[HL1007]

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK regularly makes representations at both ministerial and official level to the Government of Israel on the urgent need to ease restrictions on Gaza. The Secretary of State for International Development, my right honourable friend the Member for Sutton Coldfield (Mr Mitchell), and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), discussed these issues during visits to the region in December 2011 and January 2012.

Alongside our European Union partners, we have urged Israel to extend the fishing zone from 3 to 20 nautical miles, as stipulated in the Oslo Accords. We frequently emphasise the impact restrictions are having on industry in Gaza.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the treatment of Gazan fishermen, and the patrol boats sent to monitor their safety, by the Israeli Navy; and what mechanisms exist in international law to ensure their protection.[HL1009]

Lord Howell of Guildford: We have made no specific assessment of the treatment of Gazan fishermen, the patrol boats sent to monitor their safety or any mechanisms in international law to ensure their protection.

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Government Departments: Apprentices

Question

Asked by Lord Adonis

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many apprentices (1) under the age of 21, and (2) over the age of 21, were employed within the Ministry of Defence on 1 June, excluding agencies and non-departmental public bodies.[HL1012]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): As at 1 June 2012 there were some 103 civilian apprentices under the age of 21 and some 127 over 21 employed within the Ministry of Defence. This excludes the large number of service personnel who are undertaking apprenticeships as part of their training.

Health: Dementia

Question

Asked by Lord Touhig

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much of the £66 million for research into dementia announced in the Prime Minister's challenge on dementia has been allocated; and what are the projects supported by that funding.[HL1217]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The combined value of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding for research into dementia will increase from £26.6 million in 2009-10 to an estimated £66.3 million in 2014-15.

Expenditure on dementia research over the next three years will support a range of research activity.

Four new NIHR biomedical research units in dementia are being funded for five years from April 2012:

National Health Service OrganisationUniversity Partner

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University of Cambridge

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Newcastle University

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

King's College London Institute of Psychiatry

University College London Hospitals

University College London

These research units and NIHR biomedical research centres which include dementia-themed research will share their considerable resources and world-leading expertise to improve treatment and care.

The NIHR has completed a £17 million call for applied health research on dementia, as part of the programme of work to push further and faster progress in the prevention, treatment and cure of dementia. A full list of successful research bids will be announced soon.

The ESRC and NIHR will be working together to support an initiative with up to £13 million funding available for social science research on dementia. The call

4 July 2012 : Column WA173

for proposals will open in the week commencing 9 July and will fund national or international social science research in dementia which can make a significant contribution to scientific, economic and social impact.

Additional work will be supported by the funders depending on the volume and quality of applications received.

Health: Diabetes

Question

Asked by Lord Morris of Manchester

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the number of people currently living with diabetes in the United Kingdom; of those, how many have not been diagnosed; what is the estimated annual cost to the National Health Service of the condition; and how much of the cost arises from complications that could be avoided by timely treatment.[HL1151]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We do not collate these figures for the United Kingdom. Therefore data for England only have been provided. The Association of Public Health Observatories (APHO) estimated that in 2010 there were 3,099,853 people with diabetes. The National Diabetes Audit 2010-11 identified that there were 2,150,634 people with diabetes diagnosed and registered.

The department's programme budgeting data provide an estimate for expenditure on diabetes of £1.55 billion in 2010-11. This figure does not capture all the expenditure on diabetes.

The department does not have an estimate of the cost arising from complications that could be avoided by timely treatment.

Internet: 4G Spectrum

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the latest timetable for the auction of the 4G spectrum; and whether that auction will specify that mobile telephony operators should guarantee a full rural coverage as part of their bid contract.[HL981]

Baroness Garden of Frognal: Ofcom remains on schedule for the auction process to start by the end of 2012. This is compatible with the spectrum becoming available to allow successful bidders to start rolling out 4G services in these bands.

Coverage obligations were included in the recent Ofcom consultation which closed on 22 March. Ofcom proposed in that consultation to impose a coverage obligation on one 800MHz licensee extending to 98% of the UK population (and potentially 95% of the population of each nation), or requiring one 800MHz licensee to provide 4G coverage that matches existing combined 2G voice coverage and extends into existing “not spot” areas due to be covered by the Government's £150 million investment in new mobile network infrastructure (to the extent that that infrastructure can accommodate 4G equipment). Ofcom has proposed that this obligation be imposed on a single 800MHz

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licensee to ensure that consumers in rural areas, and those that visit those areas and require good coverage, are able to get good 4G coverage from the same operator in all areas. Ofcom also consulted on the option of imposing this same obligation on all 800MHz licensees.

Ofcom is currently considering the responses received and is expected to make a statement in the summer.

Iran

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the health and welfare of the journalist Mrs Narges Mohammadi and the poet Mr Mohammad Soleimani Nia imprisoned in Iran. [HL1051]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We remain concerned by reports about Mrs Narguess Mohammadi's deteriorating health after being kept in solitary confinement in Evin prison, and about Mr Mohammad Soleymaninia, who we understand is being held in Evin prison without charge. We are appalled at Iran's continued persecution of human rights defenders and journalists. Iran should release both Mrs Mohammadi and Mr Soleymaninia immediately. I raised the case of Mr Soleymaninia and other imprisoned journalists and bloggers in a statement on 20 January 2012 condemning a wave of new arrests. We will continue to work with our international partners to hold Iran accountable for human rights violations and will continue to voice our concerns about all Iranians imprisoned for expressing their beliefs.

Israel

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what procedures are open to them and other ratifying states to establish whether the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip; what uses they have made of such procedures, if any; and whether they intend to invoke articles 49, 71 and 147 in respect of actions by Israel.[HL962]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The UK has determined that Israel has obligations as an occupying power with respect to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip under applicable international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.

In its advisory opinion of 9 July 2004 on the legal consequences arising from the construction of the separation barrier erected by Israel, the International Court of Justice affirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs).

The UK has a regular dialogue with the Government of Israel with regard to the implementation of Israel's obligations under international law with respect to the OPTs, including those arising under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

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Israel and Palestine: West Bank

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have had contact with the joint Israeli-Palestinian Villages Group concerning the destruction of homes, water supplies and farm buildings in the West Bank; and, if so, what have been the results of that contact. [HL963]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford):: Our officials in Israel have had no contact with the joint Israeli-Palestinian Villages Group.

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will make representations to the Government of Israel about video footage captured by B’Tselem of violence in the West Bank involving settlers in the presence of Israel Defense Forces soldiers on 19 May. [HL1001]

Lord Howell of Guildford: We are increasingly concerned at the rise in violence by extremist Israeli settlers against ordinary Palestinians. We have regularly raised the issue of settler violence with the Israeli Government, calling on the Israeli authorities to prevent such acts and to ensure that any incidents are fully investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), joined other European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers in issuing conclusions from the EU Foreign Affairs Council in May 2012, expressing “deep concern regarding settler extremism and incitement by settlers” and condemning “continuous settler violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians”. The Foreign Affairs Council called on the Israeli Government to bring the perpetrators to justice and to comply with their obligations under international law. The UK issued a Ministerial Statement condemning the act of arson and vandalism against a mosque in the West Bank of Jaba on 18 June, commenting on the worrying trend of violence by extremist Israeli settlers, including the shooting of two Palestinians in May.

Our embassy in Tel Aviv most recently raised our concerns with the Israeli Defence Minister on 4 June 2012 and with the office of the Israeli Co-ordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Our ambassador to Tel Aviv and consul-general to Jerusalem have arranged a further meeting with the Co-ordinator, General Dangot, at which they will raise a range of issues, including settler violence.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, following the alleged arson attack by Israeli settlers on the Zaid Bin Hareth Mosque on 19 June, what discussions they will hold with the Government of Israel concerning the role of the Israel Defence Forces in preventing crimes by settlers.[HL1010]

4 July 2012 : Column WA176

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), issued a statement on 22 June condemning the act of arson and vandalism against the Zaid bin Hareth mosque in the West Bank village of Jaba on 18 June, commenting on the worrying trend of violence by extremist Israeli settlers, including the shooting of two Palestinians in May.

We have regularly raised the issue of settler violence with the Israeli Government, calling on the Israeli authorities to prevent such acts and to ensure that any incidents are fully investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), joined other European Union (EU) Foreign Ministers in issuing conclusions from the EU Foreign Affairs Council in May 2012, expressing “deep concern regarding settler extremism and incitement by settlers” and condemning “continuous settler violence and deliberate provocations against Palestinian civilians”. The Foreign Affairs Council called on the Israeli Government to bring the perpetrators to justice and to comply with their obligations under international law.

Our embassy in Tel Aviv most recently raised our concerns with the Israeli Defence Minister on 4 June 2012 and with the office of the Israeli Co-ordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. Our ambassador to Tel Aviv and consul-general to Jerusalem have arranged a further meeting with the co-ordinator, General Dangot, at which they will raise a range of issues, including settler violence.

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the Government of Israel, as administrators of the Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, concerning the future of the Palestinian Bedouin living in Area C.[HL1095]

Lord Howell of Guildford: The UK has encouraged the Israeli Government 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.

We, together with our European partners, will continue to follow the situation in Area C closely.

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will initiate a joint EU demarche about the plan to relocate Palestinian Bedouin now living near Maale Adumin to a semi-urban site adjoining the Jerusalem municipal dump.[HL1096]

Lord Howell of Guildford: The Government are concerned about the Israeli Government's plans for the Bedouin of Khan al-Ahmar. We have raised these concerns with the Israeli authorities, including Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon.

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The UK will continue to encourage the Israeli Government 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.

This case illustrates the broader problems arising from the Israeli planning restrictions in Area C of the West Bank. The European Union (EU) has formally demarched Israel to outline our shared concern at worrying developments in Area C. These developments were a major theme of discussion at the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 14 May (www.eu-un.europa.eu/articles/ en/article_12170_en.htm), where Ministers expressed particular concern at plans for the forced transfer of Palestinian communities.

We, along with our European partners, will continue to follow this issue closely.

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will initiate discussions, directly or indirectly, with the Palestinian Bedouin of Area C of the West Bank and of East Jerusalem, and in particular with the Protection Committee for Bedouin Communities near Jerusalem, about their wishes for the future of their communities.[HL1097]

Lord Howell of Guildford: We are in regular contact with representatives of the Bedouin community in Area C and have discussed the future of these communities.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my honourable friend the Member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), met with representatives of the Bedouin Community in Area C during his visit to the region between 8-11 January.

Libya

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which British war grave cemeteries were damaged in Libya in June; what damage was done; what representations

4 July 2012 : Column WA178

they have made to the Government of Libya about the desecrations; and what is their assessment of the involvement of terrorist groups in the damage. [HL1125]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Further damage occurred in the Benghazi War Cemetery on the evening of 11 June. The temporary markers installed after the earlier vandalism in February and one further stone headstone were broken. The UK strongly condemns this further act of vandalism. It is not known who carried out the attack. We have made clear to the Libyan Government the importance of securing the site and preventing damage.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is working to install permanent replacements for the headstones damaged in February. The Libyan authorities have agreed to pay for the cost of this restoration work and are now in contact with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to take this forward. Maintenance staff will continue to visit the cemetery.

National Insurance

Question

Asked by Lord Laird

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many national insurance numbers have been issued to (1) nationals from the 10 countries that most recently joined the European Union (EU) since their accession, and (2) other EU nationals and non-EU nationals in the same period.[HL1126]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): In May 2004 the Republic of Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Hungary, Republic of Latvia, Republic of Lithuania, Poland, Republic of Slovenia (the accession eight countries (A8)), as well as Malta and Cyprus, joined the European Union. They were followed in January 2007 by Bulgaria and Romania (the accession two countries (A2)). The table below provides NINo registration data for each of the categories requested from April 2004.

NI No Registrations to Adult Overseas Nationals entering the UK (Thousands) : Time Series - Financial Year Of Registration Date by World Area of Origin and nationality within EU Accession countries.
2004-052005-062006-072007-082008-092009-102010-112011-12 (Not complete to Dec 2011)

EU Accession Countries Total

116,840

276,680

317,500

332,440

257,040

182,770

224,760

164,020

Rep of Estonia

1,700

3,020

2,050

1,380

1,700

1,830

2,390

1,690

Czech Rep

7,360

13,240

11,650

11,130

10,230

7,790

7,580

5,730

Slovak Rep

11,110

27,510

28,600

29,990

24,090

13,250

11,670

7,610

Hungary

3,800

8,560

10,740

13,310

16,180

11,540

15,650

13,430

Rep of Latvia

6,320

14,400

11,030

7,790

10,450

23,200

27,260

15,150

Rep of Lithuania

15,540

30,940

23,920

19,030

17,620

23,420

40,840

27,150

Poland

61,120

171,080

220,430

210,660

134,360

69,940

81,180

62,340

Rep of Slovenia

820

500

530

540

540

330

310

240

Malta

470

610

660

590

600

410

550

340

Cyprus

780

1,110

1,070

1,110

1,320

860

1,390

1,000

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Bulgaria

4,520

2,830

2,850

13,960

15,990

12,510

13,940

10,750

Romania

3,290

2,880

3,980

22,950

23,950

17,680

22,000

18,590

European Union

80,710

97,840

102,750

107,470

120,140

91,360

134,960

103,710

Non European Union

237,800

288,530

285,590

293,190

308,930

298,620

345,180

197,860

Source:

100% extract from National Insurance Recording and Pay As You Earn System

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Some additional disclosure control has been applied. Totals may not sum due to rounding method used. Data are cumulative from 1 January 2002 unless otherwise specified (eg time-series, subset).

2. Registration date is derived from the date at which a NINo is maintained on the National Insurance Recording and Pay As You Earn System.

3. Time Series—financial year of registration date years are financial based (1 Apr - 31 Mar).

4. World area of origin is based on a client's nationality.

5. Numbers of Bulgarian and Romanian NINo registrations (the A2 accession countries) are shown with the accession countries total for 2004-55 onwards.

6. The data are available on the department's website at: http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=tabtool.

NHS: Mergers

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 20 June (WA 301), whether the considerations set out in that Answer would apply to any merger of an NHS foundation trust with one or more NHS trust that had not achieved foundation status.[HL1201]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Health and Social Care Act 2012 provides that a merger between two foundation trusts would be a relevant merger to be considered by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for review under the Enterprise Act 2002. These provisions do not extend to foundation trust mergers with National Health Service trusts.

NHS: Monitor

Question

Asked by Baroness Gould of Potternewton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the future role of Monitor will include public health. [HL1161]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Monitor's regulatory functions are not intended to apply to public health.

Russia

Question

Asked by Lord Janner of Braunstone

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made representations to the Government of Russia regarding the export of helicopters to Syria. [HL1049]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): On 18 June, in the margins of the G20 (the Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors), the Prime Minister, my right honourable friend the Member for Witney (Mr Cameron) raised with President Putin the issue of the MV Alaed shipping arms to Syria. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has also raised our concern over Russian arms exports to Syria with Foreign Minister Lavrov, most recently on 16 June in Kabul. We believe that all arms supplies to Syria perpetuate the cycle of violence. We continue to work with Russia to bring an end to the violence and bloodshed and to make progress on a political process.

Sergei Magnitsky

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will impose travel restrictions on those who have been implicated in the death of the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, and maintain such restrictions until any charges have been brought.[HL1163]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Magnitsky case remains of serious concern to the UK Government and it is vitally important that the Russian Government ensure that justice is achieved in this case.

The immigration rules allow for the refusal of entry in cases where there is independent, reliable and credible evidence that an individual has committed human rights abuses. In such cases, the individual will be routinely refused entry to the UK.

The UK has a long-established practice of not commenting routinely on the details of individual visa cases.

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Sudan

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Howell of Guildford on 25 June (WA 40–1), whether the UK Trade and Industry official who spoke at an event at the Sudanese embassy promoting business links with the United Kingdom spoke about levels of corruption in Sudan or Sudan's laws on contract and ownership. [HL1117]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): During the Middle East Association event on 30 May to promote its forthcoming trade mission to Sudan the UK Trade International (UKTI) official present did not talk about either topic.

Teachers: Qualifications

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, for each year between 2006 and 2011, how many of the students who completed initial teacher training qualifications were graduates from Russell Group universities. [HL434]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Hill of Oareford): Information on the institution from which trainee teachers gained their first degree is not collected centrally.

The number of initial teacher training (ITT) trainees attaining qualified teacher status (QTS) through mainstream higher education institution (HEI) courses in Russell Group institutions in England is presented in Table A.

Figures for academic years 2005-06 to 2009-10 are provided and represent the latest available information. Figures for 2010-11 are not yet available.

Table A—The number of ITT trainees achieving QTS in England.
2005-062006-072007-082008-092009-10

Total

33,100

34,090

32,980

33,110

34,680

Of which through mainstream courses at Russell Group HEIs

3,810

3,410

3,160

3,190

3,370

Source:

Teaching Agency Performance Profiles

Notes:

1 Numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

2 Total category includes all mainstream and employment-based routes of ITT.

3 Figures for mainstream courses at Russell Group HEIs exclude employment-based courses where accreditation is provided by Russell Group HEIs.

4 July 2012 : Column WA182

Uzbekistan

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made or will make to the Government of Uzbekistan about their stated intention of ending compulsory child labour in the cotton harvest; and whether observers from the International Labour Organisation will have access to the 2012 cotton harvest.[HL1002]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): We have no illusions about the human rights situation in Uzbekistan. Our annual human rights report sets out our concerns in detail, including our long-standing concerns about the use of child labour during the cotton harvest.

There were some relatively positive indications that the Uzbek authorities made an effort in 2011 to reduce the number of children (particularly the youngest) working in the fields. We welcome this but remain concerned by the continuing gap between legislative measures taken by the Uzbek authorities and practical implementation. We continue to raise these concerns in discussions with the Uzbek Government, and through the European Union.

It is not yet clear whether observers from the International Labour Organisation will have access to monitor the 2012 cotton harvest. There have been encouraging signs of greater dialogue between International Labour Organisation (ILO) representatives and the Uzbek authorities during 2012, including through a seminar held in Tashkent in early May at which ILO participated.

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are making representations to the Government of Uzbekistan about freedom of expression on the internet.[HL1003]

Lord Howell of Guildford: We raise freedom of expression issues, including internet freedom, with the Uzbek authorities on a regular basis. In 2012 the UK funded a project focusing on freedom of expression in Uzbekistan, with particular focus on ensuring greater accountability by parliament to the media. We believe that constructive engagement offers the best chance of making progress and will continue to raise our concerns with the Uzbek Government. The European Union (EU) discusses freedom of expression with the Uzbek authorities in its annual human rights dialogue. The UK and EU are keen to step up co-operation on freedom of expression issues, and encourage Uzbekistan to take advantage of the expertise that exists in regional and international human rights organisations such as the Office for Security and Co-operation in Europe and United Nations Special Procedures. We will continue to raise concerns about freedom of expression on the internet as we take forward our broader discussions with the Uzbeks.

4 July 2012 : Column WA183

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to protect human rights campaigners in Uzbekistan, including Elena Urlaeva and Tatiana Dovlatova.[HL1004]

Lord Howell of Guildford: We closely monitor the human rights situation in Uzbekistan and regularly raise our concerns, including on individual cases, with the authorities. We do this bilaterally, including through meetings at ministerial and senior official level, and jointly with the United Nations, European Union and Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. We also highlight critical cases in our human rights report which can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's website. We regularly call on

4 July 2012 : Column WA184

the Uzbek authorities to permit human rights defenders to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of prosecution or harassment.

We have a range of human rights related projects, working where possible with local representatives of civil society and human rights defenders. Our embassy in Tashkent meets frequently with human rights defenders, including Elena Urlaeva and Tatiana Dovlatova.

The recent release of several human rights activists, including Alisher Karamatov, is positive. However, many more human rights defenders remain behind bars, including Azam Formonov, who was arrested on the same day and on the same charges as Karamatov. We continue to raise individual cases and to encourage Uzbekistan to act in accordance with its international human rights obligations.