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To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 22 May (WA 49), whether they have authorised any further operations by the company Odyssey Marine Exploration on the wreck of HMS "Victory"; whether those operations have been discussed in advance with the advisory group established by the Government to advise Ministers on the treatment of the wreck; and what sanctions are available to deter companies from acting without the prior approval of Ministers following the advice of the advisory group for the actions proposed.[HL1722]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by my right honourable friend the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans (Andrew Robathan) in the other place on 17 July 2012, (Official Report, col. 760W).
We are currently considering a request from the Maritime Heritage Foundation for further work on the HMS Victory site. This request has been discussed with the advisory group established to advise both Ministers and the Maritime Heritage Foundation on the treatment of the wreck. The deed of gift, which is available at http://www.mod.uklDefenceInternet/AboutDefence/ CorporatePublications/MaritimePublications/Hms Victory1744AdvisoryGroup.htm, states: "the Company agrees not to disturb, remove from the seabed, sell, charge, lease, give or otherwise dispose of anything hereby transferred". Any activity undertaken without the approval of the Secretary of State would be a breach of the terms of the deed of gift, for which legal remedies would be available.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had recently with Governments in Commonwealth countries where homosexuality is illegal about the application of international human rights law on this issue.[HL1986]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): In recent months, the Minister for Africa raised concerns regarding a Private Members' Bill to strengthen anti-homosexuality legislation with the President of Uganda. The Minister for Equalities also raised these concerns with the Vice President and Speaker for Parliament during a recent visit to Kampala. In The Gambia, our High Commissioner delivered a démarche to the Gambian Minister of Foreign Affairs protesting against the trial of 20 Gambians arrested for allegedly committing "unnatural offences". Human Rights issues were also discussed at the European Union's (EU) Article 8 political dialogue which was held between EU member states and the Government of Gambia in June.
The Commonwealth is a valuable partner in promoting human rights globally, and in helping to deliver UK human rights policy. We are committed to working with the Commonwealth and its partners to help them uphold values of human rights, rule of law, democracy and development. We regularly raise human rights issues with the Commonwealth Secretariat and with member states. We seek to increase debate on these issues, including on sexual orientation or gender identity, within and among Commonwealth countries.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Transportation Agreement between France, Ireland and the United Kingdom, designed to facilitate the transport of competition and other high-value horses between the three countries, was extended to cover low value horses which may come from Eastern Europe and elsewhere; what assessment they have made of the risk that this may result in the spread of disease among horses in the UK; and whether they have plans to open negotiations immediately with the objective of returning the agreement to its original form.[HL2089]
Lord Newby: The Tripartite Agreement is a long-standing agreement between France, the Republic of Ireland and the UK. Under the original agreement registered equidae, usually for competition and racing, were able to move freely between the signatory countries based on shared health status. The agreement does not remove the need to comply with EU welfare in transport legislation. In 2005, due to its success, it was expanded to include equidae for "breeding and production", covering among others ponies for leisure and has continued to work well. The agreement continues to be tripartite and only between the three signatory countries.
There is a balance between facilitating free trade of horses that need to move regularly and recognising the risk of importation of disease. Defra continually monitors and assesses the UK risk from disease outbreaks in the EU and beyond.
To ask the Chairman of Committees whether the House of Lords Administration will consider establishing an apprenticeship scheme within the employment of the House, to start no later than spring 2013.[HL2025]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): The House of Lords Administration has no current plans to establish an apprenticeship scheme before the spring of 2013, but I have asked the Clerk of the Parliaments to examine whether it would be possible to introduce such a scheme.
The Administration runs training schemes for certain groups of staff including staff in Catering and Retail Services, the Parliamentary Archives, the Finance Department and the Human Resources Office. These schemes involve sponsored study with day-release or study leave and lead to recognised professional qualifications. The Administration also has a generous scheme of support for further and higher education. The Administration does not run any craft apprenticeships because it does not employ any staff in the building and allied trades. The Parliamentary Estates Directorate, which is a department of the House of Commons, is responsible for the maintenance of the Parliamentary Estate.
To ask the Leader of the House, further to his answer on 23 July (HL Deb, col. 481-4), on what basis he considers that Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint could have answered a maximum of three oral questions on behalf of his department.[HL2070]
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Strathclyde): Lord Green has answered oral questions from Lord Alton of Liverpool (9 March 2011) and Lord Bates (8 March 2012). He did not answer an oral question from Lord Harrison (28 June 2012) which raised matters related to UKTI's remit. Other oral questions answered by BIS Ministers in the House over the period in question did not relate to UKTI's remit. That was the context for my remarks.
To ask the Chairman of Committees what was the cost of the recent Members' survey on the facilities and services in the House of Lords conducted by BMG Research; why the survey could not have been produced in-house; and what was the purpose of the question on ethnic origin.[HL1926]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): It is expected that the Members' survey will cost approximately £15,000, but this will depend on the amount of additional analysis which the Administration commission after reviewing the survey results. An external provider has been employed to conduct the survey and process the results in order to ensure that all responses are dealt with anonymously and so that the results can be properly and independently validated.
The House Administration are keen to ensure that all Members receive a good service, and it may be useful to analyse the results in order to identify whether there are particular trends within particular groups of Members. Therefore, at the end of the survey form, Members are asked a number of questions which will enable the results to be sorted by particular categories while preserving Members' confidentiality.
To ask the Chairman of Committees why the options provided for answering question 27 of the Members' survey on the facilities and services in the House of Lords, asking Members to indicate their ethnic origin, were White, White Other, Mixed background, Black or Black British, Asian or Asian British (including Chinese), Other and Prefer not to say.[HL1958]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): In order for the House Administration to assess whether all Members receive a good service, at the end of the Members' survey there are a number of optional questions which will enable the Administration to analyse whether there are particular trends of answers from particular groups of Members. The options provided were based on advice from the external survey provider. Unfortunately there was an error in question 27 and the first option should have been "White British" rather than "White".
To ask the Leader of the House, further to his answer on 17 July (HL Deb, col. 111) on the sitting arrangements of the two Houses, whether he will identify the comparative costs of (1) both Houses sitting during the same two weeks, and (2) one sitting independently for two weeks, then the other sitting independently for two weeks, including in the analysis the costs incurred by the (a) opening hours of refreshment facilities, (b) opening hours of Library and research facilities, (c) availability of the services of Clerks in the two Houses, and (d) costs of scheduling building and refurbishment works. [HL2058]
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Sewel): The surplus of income recovered by Parliament over attributed costs during the Summer Recesses in question was £114,809 in 2009, £102,125 in 2010 and £188,246 in 2011.
Lord Sewel: Ticketmaster is contracted by Parliament to provide ticketing for Parliament's commercial tours. This includes online, phone and group sales and also the provision of software and hardware for the onsite ticket office. Ticketmaster is also contracted to provide technical support, event management and marketing support. The fulfilment of the contract is based upon the delivery of these services, and a service level agreement covers the following criteria:payment of moneys received;provision of management information;the issue of tickets to customers;quality control (via envelope checks);customer phone hold times;phone abandonment rate; andcustomer complaints.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Welsh Government's anti-human trafficking co-ordinator established in April 2011; and whether they are considering making a similar appointment in England.[HL1962]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): An assessment of the work of the Welsh Government's anti-human trafficking co-ordinator will be made as part of the first report of the Inter-Departmental
24 Sep 2012 : Column WA263
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people have entered the United Kingdom in each of the last five years from (1) the European Union, (2) the Commonwealth, and (3) the rest of the world.[HL1752]
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to respond to your parliamentary Question to Her Majesty's Government, asking how many people have entered the United Kingdom in each of the last five years from (1) the European Union, (2) the Commonwealth, and (3) the rest of the world [HL1752].
Estimates are published in two forms: first, the number of overseas travel and tourism visits to the UK of less than 12 months in duration which are completed in the reporting year and are based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS); and, secondly, the number of people migrating to the UK for 12 months or more (long-term international migration) during the reporting year and are based on the IPS plus adjustments. The most recent year for which both sets of estimates are available is 2010.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the level of accuracy being achieved in the recording and storing of the contact details of owners of .uk domain names; what discussions they have had with Nominet about that issue; and whether they will ask Nominet to publish the report that they have commissioned into the accuracy of the data on contact details.[HL1869]
Lord Newby: No assessment has been made of the level of accuracy being achieved in the recording and storing of the contact details of owners of .uk domain names (known as the WHOIS). Officials at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport have regular informal discussions with Nominet on a range of issues, and accuracy of WHOIS data is something that is discussed from time to time. Nominet is a private company, and as such, it would not be appropriate for the Government to request that it publishes research which was undertaken as part of the work it is doing to improve WHOIS accuracy.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 23 July (WA 109), what financial assistance has been given to the Isle of Sark in fulfilling its constitutional obligations on behalf of the Crown for each year since 2008.[HL2054]
Lord Newby: The UK Government have given no financial assistance to Sark in fulfilling its constitutional obligations on behalf of the Crown. Costs have, however, been incurred by the UK Government in defending applications for judicial review in the courts of the United Kingdom, challenging specific decisions to recommend that legislation passed by the Chief Pleas of Sark should receive the Royal Assent which is necessary for that legislation to come into force. Information is not available broken down by year, but the costs incurred by the UK Government since 2008 in such cases, including those presently under way, amount to approximately £199,000, of which £44,000 has been recovered by the UK Government under costs orders made by the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Israel in relation to the lifting of the blockade of Gaza and their obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.[HL1925]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): In close co-ordination with our European Union 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.
Most recently our ambassador to Israel and Consulate General in Jerusalem discussed our concerns about the situation in Gaza with the Coordinator of the Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Major General Dangot on 16 July.
We regularly raise the treatment of children in the OPTs with the Israeli authorities, including in Gaza. UK financial assistance supports the Palestinian Authority and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to provide primary healthcare and hospital care to Gazans. This includes support to construct fourteen new UNRWA schools in Gaza and supporting 28,000 refugee children to attend school. While we have not discussed the rights of children under the specific auspices of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, we have discussed in detail issues affecting children, including themes relating to the convention. Issues discussed include ensuring development and increasing the standard of living for children in Gaza, ensuring protection for Gazan children from war, conflict and violence and ensuring that Gazan children have access to education.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the implementation by the Government of Israel of the recommendations made by the 2003 Or Commission to tackle discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel.[HL1938]
In contrast, few of Or's recommendations on the socio-economic causes of Israeli Arab frustration have been addressed. We continue to urge the Israeli Government to implement the recommendations made by the 2003 Or Commission, specifically to address (i) economic disparities; and (ii) unequal access to land and housing.
In general we condemn all instances of inequality and discrimination against individuals and groups because of their faith, ethnicity or nationality. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem, as elsewhere, monitor and raise concerns over human rights with host Governments, including discrimination and freedom of religion or belief when appropriate.
We have also supported projects aimed at tackling discrimination between Jewish and Arab communities in Israel. In 2011 the UK sponsored a £40,000 project for Israeli and Palestinian religious leaders to join a multi-sector leaders' network that aims to advance peace in the region.
Lord Howell of Guildford: The European Union (EU)-Israel Association Council at its regular meeting on 24 July discussed some practical co-operation measures in line with the existing EU-Israel Action Plan. It does not represent an upgrade or any major broadening of EU-Israel relations. The EU has been very clear that no progress can be made on upgrading the wider EU-Israel relationship until there is substantial progress towards a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is a position the UK supports.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking within the European Union to address the alleged destruction by Israeli occupation authorities of an agricultural project funded by the European Union near the village of al-Khedr in the occupied West Bank.[HL1877]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): The Government are concerned about demolitions of Palestinian houses and infrastructure, including projects funded by the European Union (EU) and other European partners, in the West Bank. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right honourable friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) discussed the issue of such demolitions with EU partners at the 14 May EU Foreign Affairs Council. Along with EU partners, we have raised our concerns about demolitions with the Israeli authorities, although we have not raised this particular project with them.
The UK is focused on preventing demolitions of Palestinian property, whether funded by the international community or not. We are working with other EU member states to make clear to Israel the need for significant streamlining of the procedure for Palestinians to gain planning permission in Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank (specifically Area C) and the need to halt all demolitions until a more effective process is in place.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why social security was not included in the current legal aid tender; and what steps are being taken to ensure that providers contracted to undertake legal work in this area are sufficiently specialist and experienced. [HL1882]
The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord McNally): It has not been possible to include welfare benefit appeals in the current tender round due to the late decision to include this within the scope of the legal aid scheme. My officials and the Legal Services Commission (LSC) are currently considering the most effective way to deliver this service from April 2013. An announcement on this will be made in due course.
Baroness Northover: The United Nations currently estimates that the number of people at risk of food shortages across the Sahel region of West Africa in 2012 is 18 million. Of these, 3.5 million are in Mali.
The security situation in Mali remains of particular concern, and over 415,000 men, women and children have been directly affected by the conflict in the northern regions of the country. Over 260,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, and over 155,000 people have been internally displaced following months of armed conflict. The deterioration in security conditions has severely limited the humanitarian response by reducing access to those acutely affected by this crisis in the north of the country.
The UK Government are supportive of efforts led by the Economic Community Of West African States and the African Union to bring about a resolution to the crisis in Mali. We will continue to work closely with our international partners, including the United Nations and the European Union, to help return the country to full democracy, including the holding of elections.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the United Kingdom is required by the EU Commission to open its labour market to Bulgarian and Romanian workers by bringing forward the transition date for free access to the labour market for such nationals, and, if so, what was their response.[HL2014]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The European Commission earlier this year wrote to the Home Secretary acknowledging the labour market reasons for the Government's decision to maintain restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals' access to the labour market until the end of 2013, but urging the Government regularly to reassess the labour market position and to consider whether the existing restrictions could be eased before the end of 2013. The Government's response was that they are under no obligation to further review their decision of November 2011 and have no plans to do so.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Henley): The Home Office and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) works closely with the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) to ensure that its priority work areas support delivery of the Government's wildlife crime priorities. Every six months the NWCU produces a tactical assessment of progress against each of its priority work areas, which is considered by the Home Office, Defra and other members of the UK Wildlife Crime Tasking and Co-ordinating Group.
Lord Henley: Every six months the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) produces a tactical assessment of progress against each of its priority work areas. The tactical assessment is considered jointly by the Home Office, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and other members of the UK Wildlife Crime Tasking and Co-ordinating Group.
Lord Henley: We recognise the important role that the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) plays in tackling wildlife crime, and that role will evolve as the wider policing landscape develops. Decisions on government funding for the NWCU beyond 2012-13 will be taken by Ministers later this year.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times since May 2010 they have has asked strategic health authorities to investigate the imposition of blanket bans on treatments by primary care trusts. [HL1885]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many times since May 2010 they have asked strategic health authorities to investigate the imposition of blanket bans on treatments by primary care trusts on a cost basis unrelated to medical need.[HL1886]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Primary care trusts are responsible for the commissioning of treatment and services, taking into account evidence of best practice and the needs of the local population.
While the department does not routinely collect data on the commissioning decisions of individual primary care trusts, where allegations of blanket bans on treatments are brought to our attention they are investigated. To provide details of all contact with strategic health authorities on this matter would incur disproportionate cost.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have taken action against a primary care trust because it has refused laparoscopies or X-rays of the uterus on the grounds that they were not permissible as investigations under the National Health Service; and, if so, what action was taken.[HL1888]
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ensure that all decisions to restrict patient treatments made by primary care trusts or clinical commissioning groups will be made in public. [HL1889]
Earl Howe: Section 2A of the NHS Constitution gives patients the right "to expect local decisions on funding of other drugs and treatments to be made rationally following a proper consideration of the evidence". Guidance to commissioners on the principles to be followed in local decision-making was set out in a handbook published by the National Prescribing Centre and the department in January 2009. This advises commissioners that they should "communicate clearly with stakeholders including the wider National Health Service, patients and the public. Communication should include the processes, decisions and the rationale for decisions, while maintaining appropriate confidentiality".
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Howell of Guildford): Our commission in Abuja is aware of the suspension of Honourable Rifkatu Samson Danna from the Bauchi State House of Assembly. This is an internal matter for the assembly.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to deal with the remaining landmines laid in North Africa by Allied and Axis forces in World War 2, and what representations have they received from the Governments of the nations concerned. [HL1531]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The UK has assisted with landmine clearance in North Africa in the past and continues to provide technical information to the mine-affected countries when requested.
An emergency programme was launched last year in the aftermath of the uprising in Libya to cope with explosive remnants, including newly laid mines, unexploded and abandoned ordnance. The UK is supporting non-governmental organisations engaged in clearance, such as the Libya Mine Action Centre, to undertake capacity-building work in Libya, including the implementation of a national mine action programme.
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Shutt of Greetland on 13 October 2011 (WA 257), what was the date of departure of Hilary Jackson, the former director-general of the Northern Ireland Office; what are the financial details and costs of her redundancy package and its capitalised value; and at what age her pension would normally become payable. [HL2017]
Lord Newby: Hilary Jackson left the Northern Ireland Office on 31 December 2011. Hilary was a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) employee on loan to the NIO. The MoJ will hold the personal data about the cost of her departure as she left under an MoJ scheme. There were no costs to the NIO.
To ask Her Majesty's Government which European Union member states are not on track to meet, or have ceased to be committed to meeting, the target of increasing Official Development Assistance (ODA) to 0.7% of gross national income or to commit 50% of all increases in ODA to African countries by 2015.[HL1852]
Baroness Northover: The UK is firmly on track to reach 0.7% ODA/GNI by 2013. However, while 16 member states maintained or increased their aid in 2011, a number of member states are off-track in meeting the 0.7% target. According to the 2010 Annual Report to the European Council on EU Aid Targets, of the countries that were member states before 2004, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Italy and Greece did not meet the interim 2010 target of 0.51% ODA/GNI. Of the countries that joined the EU after 2004 only Malta met the interim 2010 target of 0.17% ODA/GNI. All member states reaffirmed their commitment to meet the 0.7% ODA/GNI target at this year's June European Council.
The target of spending 50% of all ODA in Africa by 2015 is a collective EU target. According to the One DATA report, from 2004 to 2011, the countries that were member states before 2004 spent 36.2% of global ODA increases in Africa. Between 2004 and 2010, these countries increased ODA to Africa by $5.04 billion. The UK will continue to press other member states to meet their aid commitments, including the necessary increases to Africa.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they are having with European Union Official Development Assistance (ODA) partners on maintaining ODA pledges and managing joint aid programmes in the current economic climate. [HL1853]
Baroness Northover: The UK remains on track to meet its commitments on ODA. However, a number of countries are off track which seriously undermines progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Ministers discuss this regularly with European Union colleagues and the Second Annual Report to the European Council on EU Aid Targets was recently adopted at the May Development Foreign Affairs Council. The UK also successfully pressed for language on ODA in the June European Council and will continue to use high-level meetings in the EU to hold other member states to account for meeting their aid commitments.
The UK is a strong supporter of country-led aid effectiveness work, most recently re-affirmed at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan. The Secretary of State for International Development is co-chair of global partnership post-Busan. A key outcome of the conference was to improve donor co-ordination to reduce duplication and waste. With regard to improving EU co-ordination, the UK
24 Sep 2012 : Column WA272
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Department for International Development spent on social protection programmes in Nigeria for (1) children and (2) pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; and what is their assessment of the impact of those programmes. [HL1917]
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Department for International Development spent on social protection programmes in Nigeria to improve nutritional outcomes for (1) children and (2) pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; and what is their assessment of the impact of those programmes.[HL1918]
Baroness Northover: DfID did not fund any social protection programmes in Nigeria between 2008 and 2011. DfID is currently developing a new social protection programme, which is expected to start in early 2013. The programme is expected to include an evaluation component to assess the impact of the programme.
In September 2011, DfID started a nutrition programme in Nigeria aimed at reaching 6.2 million children under five years and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers over a six-year period. The programme is being independently evaluated, although it is too early to assess its impact at this stage.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Department for International Development spent on social protection programmes in Ethiopia for (1) children, and (2) pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; and what is their assessment of the impact of these programmes. [HL1919]
Baroness Northover: The Department for International Development (DfID) supports the Ethiopian Productive Safety Nets Programme (PSNP), which provides cash and food transfers to around 7.5 million hungry households during the lean season. While this is not targeted at women or children, they are major beneficiaries of improved household food security. DfID spending on PSNP was £35 million in 2008/9; £30.5 million in 2009/10, £61.6 million in 2010/11; and £61.1 million in 2011/12.
Independent evaluations in 2008 and 2010 found that the programme had improved food security for recipients. Children in recipient households ate more meals per day and the food gap-the number of months during which a household was unable to meet its food needs-has been reduced by a third (more than a month). PSNP transfers have also helped recipient households to retain productive assets in the face of shocks (helping them to avoid, for example, selling
24 Sep 2012 : Column WA273
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much the Department for International Development spent on social protection programmes in Ethiopia to improve nutritional outcomes for (1) children, and (2) pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011; and what is their assessment of the impact of those programmes.[HL1920]
Baroness Northover: The Department for International Development (DfID) supports the Ethiopian Productive Safety Nets Programme (PSNP), which provides cash and food transfers to around 7.5 million hungry households during the lean season. DfID spending on PSNP was £35 million in 2008/9; £30.5 million in 2009/10; £61.6 million in 2010/11; and £61.1 million in 2011/12.
Independent evaluations in 2008 and 2010 found that the programme had improved food security for recipients. Children in recipient households ate more meals per day and the food gap-the number of months during which a household was unable to meet its food needs-has been reduced by a third (more than a month). While it is likely that improved food consumption has led to improved nutritional status we cannot know this for certain without additional analysis, as nutrition is affected by a range of factors. Data on the height and weight of children under five years were collected in 2010 and will be collected again in 2012 and will be analysed by May 2013, allowing us to assess the impact of PSNP on children's nutritional outcomes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding they have provided in each of the last 10 years, and how much they plan to spend in each year to 2015, for promoting (1) human rights, and (2) democracy, overseas; and which departments disburse this funding.[HL1999]
Baroness Northover: The UK Government support human rights and democracy through the work of two departments. DfID is the main funding provider. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) also provides financial assistance to promote human rights and democracy, as well as playing a key diplomatic role in promoting the UK's values on human rights and democracy. DfID has provided a total of nearly £738 million on support to human rights and democracy in the period from 2000-01 to 2010-11, bilaterally and through multilateral organisations, although we believe this figure to be a low estimation of DfID's full expenditure on democracy and human rights. The FCO currently spends a minimum of £10 million per year on human rights and democracy.
Table 1 below shows the break-down of DfID's bilateral and multilateral spend per year. Table 2 shows DfID's bilateral spend per year on (1) human rights and (2) democracy. It would incur disproportionate costs to identify the break-down of DfID's multilateral spend on human rights and democracy over the past 10 years.
DfID does not have sufficient information available to give a fair projection of DfID expenditure on human rights and democracy until 2015. The FCO's expenditure on human rights and democracy is currently assessed on an annual basis and next year's allocation has not yet been announced.
This can be found at: www.dfid.gov.uk/About-us/How-we-measure-progress/Aid-Statistics/Statistics-on-International-Development-201l/SID-2011-Additional-tables/ and www.fco.gov.uk/en/publications-and-documents/publications1/annual-reports/human-rights-report.
To ask Her Majesty's Government to how many countries the Department for International Development has provided general and sector budget support in the last 10 years; how much funding it has provided to each of those countries in those 10 years; to which countries it plans to provide general and sector budget support until 2015; how much this planned general and sector budget support
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Baroness Northover: The table below presents general and sector budget support (GBS and SBS) expenditure over the past 10 years, disaggregated by country. As shown in the table, over the past 10 years DfID has provided budget support in a total of 20 countries across Africa and Asia.
DfID does not publish forward projections of particular aid types due to the uncertainty surrounding these numbers. In the case of budget support, it is likely that actual disbursements will differ from planned expenditure. For example, DfID may not disburse all approved expenditure if the UK's underlying partnership
24 Sep 2012 : Column WA276
Nevertheless, details of all of approved budget support programmes can be found on the DfID website (http://projects.dfid.gov.uk/default.aspx), where all business cases are published.
When we provide budget support, it is a requirement that all bank accounts into which budget support funds are transferred are audited by the recipient country's public audit institutions. We provide budget support only when we are completely satisfied that funds will be used for their intended purpose. DfID conducts detailed fiduciary risk assessments (FRAs) examining all aspects of recipient country public financial management systems before budget support is provided.
|Expenditure (£ mn)|
|Expenditure (£ mn)|
|Expenditure (£ mn)|
(1) Figures (to 2011/12) include the Protection of Basic Services (PBS) programme, which is a multi-sector budget support programme financed through a World Bank multi-donor trust fund started in January 2006 in response to the cancellation of General Budget Support in 2005. This support is only used to provide local level basic services and the programme includes a comprehensive package to strengthen financial management, transparency, monitoring and evaluation, and social accountability.
(3) All support to the Government of Pakistan is earmarked to deliver specific results and outcomes within a sector, from the number of children enrolled in school, to the number of lives saved. Projects are subject to independent evaluation and have safeguards to track and monitor our funds.
To ask Her Majesty's Government where UK Export Finance's spending that counted as overseas development assistance, as reported in the Department for International Development's annual report, went; and what the spending was on.[HL2046]
Baroness Northover: In its annual report and accounts 2011-12, DfID reported that the Export Credits Guarantee Department's (ECGD) contribution to UK overseas development assistance was £91 million. This sum was debt relief provided to the Democratic Republic of Congo under the terms of the international Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what types of funding are attributed to the eight sectors that the Department for International Development's annual report sets out for its bilateral aid spend in 2011-12. [HL2047]
Baroness Northover: DfID uses a range of funding types for its bilateral aid, and works to achieve results in a large number of sectors. The DfID annual report 2011-12 disaggregates our bilateral spending across 12 sectors (figure 2.1 on page 44).
DfID chooses the funding type for its aid that is most appropriate for the specific set of development results being targeted and the local context in which we are operating. As a result, a range of funding types is used in each sector.
The full range of bilateral and multilateral funding types used by DfID, and the sectors in which DfID works, is published in the statistics for international development (http://www.dfid.gov.uk/about-us/how-we-measure-progress/aid-statistics/statistics-on-international-development-2011/key-statistics/).
To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Department for International Development (DfID) in Mozambique spent 1.2% of its budget on reproductive, maternal and newborn health there in the light of the statement in DfID's annual report that maternal mortality is the only Millennium Development Goal indicator severely off track in Mozambique.[HL2048]
Baroness Northover: Between April 2010 and March 2011, the Department for International Development (DflD) in Mozambique spent 23% of its budget on health, of which 1.2% went directly to reproductive, maternal and newborn health. In addition, spending on policy and administrative management, infectious disease control, health personnel development and sexually transmitted infections helped improve maternal and newborn health.
In 2011, Britain's interventions in Mozambique resulted in 35,000 births being delivered with medical assistance; 1,700 pregnant women being treated for malaria; and improved access to modern methods of contraceptives for an additional 56,400 women.
To ask Her Majesty's Government why, according to the annual report of the Department for International Development (DfID), DfID Sierra Leone spent 44.2 per cent of its budget on Global Partnerships in the light of the statement by DfID Sierra Leone's Operational Plan that there would be no spending on Global Partnerships but that roughly 44.3 per cent would go to governance and security.[HL2049]
Baroness Northover: There is an incorrect label on the pie-chart which illustrates 2011-12 spend by DfID Sierra Leone by sector in the annual report and accounts. While the underlying data is correct, the label "Global Partnerships" should instead have read "Governance & Security".
The Parliamentary Journal Office was informed and approved an official corrections slip which was placed on record, distributed to recipients, and used to update the electronic version on the DfID website.
To ask Her Majesty's Government where the additional funding for the Conflict Pool in 2011-12 was found compared to the Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department Operational Plan published in June 2012 and the Department for International Development's annual report; whether other budgets were reduced to achieve this increase; and, if so, which budgets and by how much.[HL2050]
Baroness Northover: The Conflict Pool is funded from a Treasury settlement on conflict resources which is separate from and additional to DfID, FCO and MoD budgets. DfID's budget provides the resources for Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department's Operational Plan published in June 2012. Departmental budgets were not reduced to achieve the increase in the Conflict Pool's budget.
Baroness Northover: There has been no decision to cease funding of the Rural Support Programme Network's (RSPN) activities. The Department for International Development (DfID) originally helped to set up the
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As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary Question to ask Her Majesty's Government whether they estimate that cash resources held by private companies in the United Kingdom are increasing or decreasing. [BIS] HL2023.
The Office for National Statistics publishes an annual United Kingdom National Accounts: The Blue Book which presents a full set of economic accounts, or national accounts, for the United Kingdom. Chapters 3 and 4 of the Blue Book comprise the fullest available set of accounts showing transactions by the private non-financial and financial sectors of the economy respectively. The Blue Book 2012 was published on 31 July 2012 and is available on the National Statistics website at: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/naa1-rd/ united-kingdom-national-accounts/the-blue-book--2012-edition/index.html
Blue Book 2012 shows that total currency and deposits held by private non-financial corporations has increased annually since 2009 (shown in table 3.3.9 within the financial balance sheet for private non-financial corporations).
Blue Book 2012 shows that total currency and deposits held by financial corporations has increased annually since 2009 (shown in table 4.1.9 within the financial balance sheet for financial corporations).
The Blue Book also provides information on the net lending/borrowing position of private companies, which is the financial balance between their income and expenditure. If the financial balance of private companies is positive, they are net lenders and if it is negative, net borrowers.
Blue Book 2012 shows, for private non-financial corporations, an annually increasing positive financial balance since 2008 (shown in table 3.3.8 within the financial account for private non-financial corporations).
Blue Book 2012 shows that although since 2008 financial corporations have had a positive financial balance, this has subsequently decreased each year (shown in table 4.1.8 within the financial account for financial corporations).
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sassoon on 28 June (WA 103-4), what tranches of the UK bilateral loan to the Republic of Ireland have been paid and when; when interest on tranches of loan were due
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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Sassoon): As set out by the Financial Secretary in the statutory report on the bilateral loan to Ireland, which was published on 11 June 2012, the Treasury has disbursed three tranches of the bilateral loan. Tranches were disbursed on 14 October 2011, 30 January 2012 and 28 March 2012. Each disbursement was for £403,370,000, bringing the total amount disbursed to £1,210,110,000.
Accumulated interest on the disbursed tranches of the loan is payable by Ireland on 15 December and 15 June each year, until the maturity date of the associated tranche. Under the existing interest rate, the Treasury received interest payments on 15 December 2011 and 15 June 2012.
The average yields on gilts issued by the Debt Management Office in the six months up to 19 July 2012, weighted by cash proceeds, were a nominal yield of 2.004% on conventional gilts and a real yield of 0.026% on index-linked gilts.
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