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Written Answers

Answers received between Thursday 29 August 2013 and Monday 2 September 2013

Immigration

Question

Asked by Lord Boateng

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many civil servants or other employees of the immigration authorities have been deployed in each of the past five years in securing the voluntary or involuntary return of illegal immigrants; and what plans they have to increase that number.[HL2057]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): It is not possible to break down the Immigration Enforcement Directorate's workforce as requested. Furthermore, this work was previously undertaken by the UK Border Agency until 31st March 2013 and many staff in the Home Office and wider Government contribute to this work.

It is not possible to differentiate between staff involved in voluntary or involuntary returns because individuals can opt to return voluntarily at any point in the process and officials work across both types of removal.

However as at 30th June 2013 the Immigration Enforcement Directorate had a total of 4,150 paid Full Time Equivalent (FTE) staff.

The Immigration Enforcement Directorate is currently recruiting frontline posts to secure the removal of immigration offenders. This includes the recruitment of additional enforcement officers who will receive arrest training. Over the course of the year Immigration Enforcement will have recruited over 400 new Arrest Trained officers and converted 150 posts from non-arrest trained to Arrest Trained posts, doubling the arrest capacity available.

Notes: Full Time Equivalent means that part timers are counted by the proportion of full time hours they work, so that a part timer working half the time of an equivalent full timer would count as 0.5 FTE.

Internet: Site Closures

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many websites they have compelled internet service providers to close down in the last 12 months for reasons of (1) illegal content, (2) immoral content, and (3) supporting security threats.[HL1916]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The UK has a clear process by which criminal images of child sexual abuse can be reported and for websites containing such

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA422

images either to be removed completely or to be blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). In 2012 action by the Internet Watch Foundation led to the removal of approximately 9,550 child sexual abuse web pages worldwide.

A dedicated police unit, the Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU) can compel ISPs or social network sites to remove illegal extremist and radicalising material. In practice providers co-operate willingly and CTIRU have never served any ISPs with a formal notice and take-down request under Section three of Terrorism Act (2006).

Since the CTIRU was established in February 2010, approximately 6,500 pieces of online content have been removed to date through CTIRU action. Figures for April 2012 to March 2013 stand at 3,538 pieces of online content removed.

Visas

Question

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the proposed common tourist visa will be between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland or between Great Britain and Ireland.[HL1777]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Subject to appropriate safeguards, the UK Government will look to pilot a scheme in the future, permitting visitors from some destinations to enter the United Kingdom from the Republic of Ireland using an Irish visit visa, without the need for a separate UK visa.

Xenophobia and Racism

Question

Asked by Baroness Quin

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why they have decided to opt out permanently from the European Union’s Justice and Home Affairs measure on xenophobia and racism.[HL1958]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): On 23 July 2013, the House of Lords agreed a Government motion that the UK should opt out of all European Union police and criminal justice measures adopted before December 2009 and endorsed Command Paper 8671, which sets out those 35 measures the Government believes it is in the national interest to rejoin. Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA of 28 November 2008 on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law is not included in this set of measures. However, the final list of measures the UK will formally seek to rejoin is subject to negotiation with other Member States and the EU Institutions.

The UK already has strong laws in place to combat and punish racism and xenophobia. In the Home Secretary's view, it should, in general, be for the UK Parliament and courts to set and interpret matters of substantive criminal law, and not for the European Court of Justice.

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA423

Answers received between Tuesday 3 September 2013 and Monday 9 September 2013

Armed Forces: Hearing Impairment

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many former members of the Armed Forces are in receipt of awards in respect of occupational deafness caused during their service.[HL2158]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): Ninety ex-Service personnel had been awarded compensation under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for deafness or hearing loss that was caused by Service between 6 April 2005 and 31 March 2013 (the latest date for which Armed Forces Compensation Scheme data is available).

As at 31 March 2013 (the latest date for which War Pensions Scheme data is available) a total of 76,965 ex- Service personnel are recorded as having deafness or hearing loss accepted as being caused by Service prior to 6 April 2005. It is not possible to identify those individuals who have received a financial award from those who have not. This information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Reserve Forces

Questions

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many personnel have been recruited to the British Army Reservist Recruiting Scheme under the new Defence Strategy in the first quarter of 2013-14.[HL2150]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of the current year recruitment target for British Army Reservists has been met.[HL2151]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Army’s structure is changing to meet the requirements set out under Army 2020. Its manning is in a period of transition and its strength reflects the planned drawdown. Immediate measures have been put in place to deliver a step change in Army Reserve recruiting.

It will take time to accurately measure the growth in Reserve Forces following the announcement of 3 July 2013 (Official Report, column 932) but my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Philip Hammond) has said the Government remains committed to keeping the House updated through the publication of both recruitment figures and trained strength figures as the Army Reserve moves forward.

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of trained British Army Reservists who have been deployed on operational tours in Afghanistan remain in service a year after such deployment.[HL2152]

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA424

Lord Astor of Hever: The percentage of Territorial Army personnel who have been deployed on operational tours in Afghanistan, and who were still serving in the Territorial Army a year after their deployment, are shown in the following table:

Deployed betweenPercentage still serving on

1 April 2010 — 31 March 2011

1 April 2012

91.6%

1 April 2011 — 31 March 2012

1 April 2013

93.9%

Burma

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of the burning of Muslim homes in Sagaing, Burma.[HL2180]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): We remain seriously concerned about the continuing trend of violence against Muslims across Burma following the burning of Muslim homes and shops in Sagaing Division on 24 August. We welcome the swift action taken by the Burmese police to arrest those accused of involvement in the 24 August attacks, and continue to call on the Burmese Government to ensure accountability in line with due legal process.

During the Burmese President’s visit to the UK in July, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) pressed for further accountability for those involved in acts of violence against Muslims in Burma. We continue to raise our concerns with the Burmese Government about the need to tackle the root causes of the ongoing violence. We are also examining how we might provide support to develop capacity in the police force to tackle these types of incidents in line with international standards and are funding efforts to bring communities together through interfaith dialogue.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that attacks on Muslims in Sagaing in Burma were instigated by Shin Wirathu and the nationalist organisation 969.[HL2181]

Baroness Warsi: On the evening of 24 August in the village of Htan Gone in northern Sagaing Division, a group of around 1,000 local people burned 44 Muslim homes and several Muslim-owned shops following the arrest of a man accused of rape.

We have received unconfirmed reports that there was dissemination of 969-related campaign materials in the area in the preceding weeks, but we have received no direct information that the 24 August violence was instigated by Shin Wirathu or 969-affiliated organisations.

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA425

Critical National Infrastructure: Ownership

Questions

Asked by Lord Whitty

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 22 July (HL Deb, col 1045), what is their estimate of the breakdown of ownership by country of the major electricity supply companies in the United Kingdom, as of the most recent figures available.[HL2126]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 22 July (HL Deb, col 1045), what is their estimate of the breakdown of ownership by country of the major gas supply companies in the United Kingdom, as of the most recent figures available.[HL2127]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 22 July (HL Deb, col 1045), what is their estimate of the breakdown of ownership by country of the major water companies in the United Kingdom, as of the most recent figures available.[HL2128]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 22 July (HL Deb, col 1045), what is their estimate of the breakdown of ownership by country of the major railway operators in the United Kingdom, as of the most recent figures available.[HL2129]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 22 July (HL Deb, col 1045), what is their estimate of the breakdown of ownership by country of the major companies in the ports sector in the United Kingdom, as of the most recent figures available.[HL2130]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 22 July (HL Deb, col 1045), what is their estimate of the breakdown of ownership by country of the major airlines in the United Kingdom, as of the most recent figures available.[HL2131]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 22 July (HL Deb, col 1045), what is their estimate of the breakdown of ownership by country of the major telecommunications companies in the United Kingdom, as of the most recent figures available. [HL2201]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, Director General for ONS, to Lord Whitty, dated September 2013.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions concerning the breakdown of ownership by country of the major electricity supply companies [HL2126], major gas supply companies [HL21271, major water companies [HL2128], major

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA426

railway operators [HL2129], major companies in the ports sector [HL2130], major airlines [HL2131] and major telecommunication companies [HL2201] in the United Kingdom, as of the most recent figures available.

The attached spreadsheet shows a breakdown of ownership by country of the following Standard Industrial Classifications (SICs):

SIC Code SIC Description

35.1 Electric power generation, transmission and distribution

35.2 Manufacture of gas: distribution of gaseous fuels through mains

36 Water collection, treatment and supply

49.1 & 49.2 Passenger rail transport and freight rail transport

52.22 Service activities incidental to water transportation

51.1 Passenger air transport

61 Telecommunications

The link below provides further information on the UK Standard Industrial Classification 2007: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/classifications/current-standard-classifications/standard-industrial-classification/index.html

These data have been produced using an extract from the Inter Departmental Business Register (IDBR) taken at March 2012.

For the purposes of this response, “major” has been defined as enterprises with an employment figure of 250 or more. Also, in order to protect the confidentiality of businesses, the geographic breakdown has been grouped into three categories: United Kingdom, Europe and Rest of the World.

Count of major enterprises in specified industries broken down by country of ownership

SIC 35.1 - Electric power generation, transmission and distribution
Country of ownershipCount of enterprises

UK

8

Europe

7

Rest of the World

3

Total

18

SIC 35.2 - Manufacture of gas; distribution of gaseous fuels through mains
Country of ownershipCount of enterprises

UK

4

Total

13

SIC 36 - Water collection, treatment and supply
Country of ownershipCount of enterprises

UK

6

Europe

4

Rest of the World

3

Total

13

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SIC 49.1 and 49.2 - Passenger rail transport and freight rail transport
Country of ownershipCount of enterprises

UK

14

Europe

6

Rest of the World

1

Total

21

SIC 52.22 - Service activities incidental to water transportation
Country of ownershipCount of enterprises

UK

10

Europe

4

Rest of the World

3

Total

17

SIC 51.1 - Passenger air transport
Country of ownershipCount of enterprises

UK

7

Europe

7

Rest of the World

7

Total

21

SIC61 - Telecommunications
Country of ownershipCount of enterprises

UK

29

Europe

8

Rest of the World

11

Total

48

Footnotes:

These data have been produced using an extract from the Inter Departmental Business Register (IDI3R) taken at March 2012.

In order to protect confidentiality the count of enterprises has been grouped into three categories: United Kingdom, Europe and Rest of the World.

Major has been defined as enterprises with an employment figure of 250 or more.

The link below provides further information on the UK Standard Industrial Classification 2007:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/classifications/current-standard-classifications/standard-industrial-classification/index.html

Source:

Office for National Statistics

Domestic Violence: Police

Question

Asked by Baroness Scotland of Asthal

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the way in which the police handle domestic violence cases; and whether that assessment takes into account the costs associated with the training the police receive and the support they provide.[HL2227]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): It is important that the public has confidence in the way the police respond to domestic violence and abuse. That is why, on 6 September, my Rt Hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced in a Written Ministerial Statement that

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA428

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) will conduct a thematic review on the police response to domestic violence and abuse, with the findings published by March 2014.

Egypt

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the number of Coptic Christians leaving Egypt since 2010.[HL2186]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): We are aware of increased reports of Coptic Christians seeking to leave Egypt. We are concerned about the recent increase in sectarian incidents. In my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary’s statement of 20 August he condemned the increase in violence and the attacks on churches and repeated his concern in response to an oral question in the other place on 3rd September. We continue to encourage the Egyptian authorities to tackle this issue.

EU/EFTA: Benefit Entitlements

Questions

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they take steps to inform nationals of European Union or European Free Trade Agreement member states currently residing in the United Kingdom of benefits from their own or another country to which they or their family members are entitled; whether they provide assistance in accessing such benefits; and, if so, what steps they take and what assistance they provide.[HL2202]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they take steps to inform nationals of non-European Union or European Free Trade Agreement countries currently residing legally in the United Kingdom of benefits to which they or their family members are entitled from other countries within the European Union or European Free Trade Agreement in which they have previously resided; whether they provide assistance in accessing such benefits; and, if so, what steps they take and what assistance they provide.[HL2203]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they take steps to inform stateless persons or refugees currently residing in the United Kingdom of benefits to which they or their family members are entitled from other European Union or European Free Trade Agreement countries in which they had previously resided; whether they provide assistance in accessing such benefits; and, if so, what steps they take and what assistance they provide.[HL2204]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Under the provisions of Regulations EU 883/04 and EU 987/09, when a person makes a claim for benefit, and informs us that

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they have a period of residence, work or insurance in another European Union or European Free Trade Agreement country, we have a range of systems in place through the EU system of social security co-ordination to assess whether that person’s benefits are the responsibility of the United Kingdom or another country. Information is passed between the relevant countries to complete that assessment, and when a decision is made, the benefit claim may be paid in the UK if that is appropriate; or referred to the relevant Member State for further action.

If there are complex circumstances involved, we can provide ongoing liaison and assistance with the person to ensure these are addressed. In addition, there is an EU-wide network to resolve disputes involving single market legislation, known as Solvit, which can provide further assistance to persons making a claim.

The Government do not provide comprehensive advice on benefits in other countries because of the complexity and individuality of each country’s system, but can refer people to useful sources of information, notably the European Commission’s website which provides specialised information on social security co-ordination and rights in each Member State.

EU: Social Security Regulations

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made representations to the European Union about the co-ordination of social security regulations to assist those moving between European Union member states; if so, what representations they have made; and, if not, whether they plan to do so. [HL2205]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): Ministers and officials are in regular dialogue with the European Commission and other Member States about the co-ordination of social security in the European Union.

Last year Ministers, with colleagues from twelve other Member States, called for a high level political dialogue in the Employment and Social Affairs Council on the future sustainability of social security coordination in the EU. The Government subsequently hosted a Ministerial conference to continue discussions, and since then through a series of meetings has continued to work with Member States to press for reform to the co-ordination regulations to ensure a balance between fairness for migrants and an obligation to contribute to their host country.

At a technical level, the United Kingdom participates in the quarterly meetings of the Administrative Commission on the Co-ordination of Social Security Systems, which deals with administrative questions and questions of interpretation arising from the provisions contained in EU Regulation on social security co- ordination (883/04). In those meetings the UK delegation works with other Member States and the European Commission to ensure clarity and consistency of interpretation of the rules, and effective application across the European Union.

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Finance: High Frequency Traders and Algorithmic Traders

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have reviewed the activities of high frequency traders and other algorithmic traders and their impact on the integrity of markets and financial stability. [HL2171]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): The findings of the Foresight project “The Future of Computer Trading in Financial Markets”1 led by the Government Office for Science and sponsored by the Treasury, was published in autumn 2012. This independent and international study involved 150 leading experts and considered, inter alia, the impact of computer trading on the integrity of markets and financial stability.

http://www.bis.gov.uk/foresight/our-work/projects/ published-projects/computer-trading

Government Departments: Data

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what changes they have made to the reporting of data at the Department of Health since May 2010.[HL2197]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): In line with the Government’s policy to increase the openness and transparency of Government and public bodies, as set out in the Open Data White Paper Unleashing the Potential (June 2012), the Department has started to release significant amounts of data underpinning reports, and in re-usable formats. The Department’s overall approach to open data and transparency was set out in our Open Data strategy, published as annex B to the information strategy, The Power of Information: Putting All of Us in Control of the Health and Care Information We Need (May 2012). A copy has been placed in the Library. This includes a requirement for the Health and Social Care Information Centre to publish (in safe, de-identifiable format) virtually all of the data it is required to collect across the health and care sector.

Immigration

Questions

Asked by Baroness Hamwee

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they intend to ensure that the immigration document checks which are the subject of recent consultations and proposed to be included in the forthcoming Immigration Bill do not result in unlawful discrimination; and whether they intend to issue a code of practice for primary healthcare providers and for private landlords in carrying out those checks.[HL2140]

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA431

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): The Government share the desire to ensure that measures in the forthcoming Immigration Bill do not result in unlawful discrimination. The consultations on these proposals have now closed and we are considering the responses received. Full consultation reports and impact assessments will be published in due course.

Asked by Baroness Hamwee

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total cost of operating the Home Office Employer Checking Service in 2012 or for the most recent 12-month period for which they have details. [HL2141]

Lord Taylor of Holbeach: It is estimated the total staff cost involved in the Employer Checking Service (ECS) was £357,000 in 2012-13.

ECS however does not have staff dedicated solely to the service. Staff working on ECS multi-task and perform other duties in the Contact Centre network alongside this function. We are therefore unable to provide a cost specifically for the ECS service in isolation.

Immigration: Dependent Relatives

Question

Asked by Baroness Hamwee

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many decisions were made in relation to applications for entry clearance and extension of stay for adult elderly dependants during the year commencing 9 July 2012; and of those applications how many were (1) successful, (2) unsuccessful, (3) withdrawn and (4) lapsed.[HL2143]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Adult dependent relatives who wish to join a settled person or a British citizen and who meet the immigration rules qualify for immediate settlement and do not require an extension. Following rule changes in July 2012, this route is now only accessible to applicants applying from outside the UK. The latest published figures for 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 on entry clearance applications from dependants (other than children or partners of those who were settled in the UK or British citizens) are given in the table below.

Decisions on entry clearance visa applications from outside the UK providing immediate settlement (indefinite leave) to dependants (other than children or partners of those who were settled in the UK or British Citizens)
QuarterResolvedof which
IssuedRefusedWithdrawnLapsed

2012 Q3 (July to September)

676

400

264

5

7

2012 Q4 (October to December)

674

277

396

0

1

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA432

2013 Q1 (January to March)

576

221

350

3

2

2013 Q2 (April to June)

509

212

292

3

2

Decisions (resolutions) may relate to applications made in earlier quarters, and may include decisions based on rules in place before 9 July 2012.

Source:

Table be_01_q, Family route: Other (for settlement), Immigration Statistics April-June 2013

The published statistics do not separately identify how many of these decisions relate to elderly dependent relatives. It is also not possible to separately identify decisions on application made under the family Immigration Rules implemented on 9 July 2012.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on entry clearance applications within the Immigration Statistics release. A copy of the latest release, Immigration Statistics April-June 2013, is available from the Library of the House and from https://www. gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office/series/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release.

Immigration: Detention

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the effectiveness of detaining pregnant women, and (2) the views on that matter of the organisations which signed Asylum Aid’s Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum. [HL2191]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Detention is a vital and effective tool in supporting the enforced return of persons with no lawful basis of stay in the UK who choose not to leave voluntarily. This applies equally to pregnant women.

Pregnant women are detained only in limited circumstances, where their removal is imminent and medical advice does not suggest their confinement before the due removal date. Pregnant women who are less than 24 weeks’ pregnant may also be detained in the asylum Detained Fast Track process.

The recommendation in the Charter of Rights of Women Seeking Asylum that women who are at any stage of pregnancy or who are breastfeeding should not be detained was not accepted. That remains our position.

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Immigration: Non-EEA Partner Applications

Question

Asked by Baroness Hamwee

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many decisions were made in relation to non-European Economic Area partner applications from within the United Kingdom for entry clearance and for extension of stay during the year commencing 9 July 2012; and of those applications how many were (1) successful, (2) unsuccessful, (3) withdrawn and (4) lapsed.[HL2142]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Information is published on entry clearance decisions (issued, refused, withdrawn and lapsed) and grants and refusals of an extension of stay.

The latest published figures for 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013 relating to non-European Economic Area national partners in the family route are given in the tables below.

Table 1: Entry clearance visa applications and resolution by category Applicant
QuarterApplicant typeCategoryIssuedRefusedWithdrawnLapsed

2012

Q3

All

Family: Partner

7,626

2,215

51

22

2012

Q3

All

Family: Partner (for immediate settlement)

241

35

4

2

2012

Q4

All

Family: Partner

6,780

5,008

46

15

2012

Q4

All

Family: Partner (for immediate settlement)

232

75

0

2

2013

Q1

All

Family: Partner

4,862

3,522

48

8

2013

Q1

All

Family: Partner (for immediate settlement)

362

86

2

0

2013

Q2

All

Family: Partner

5,274

3,097

37

5

2013

Q2

All

Family: Partner (for immediate settlement)

151

68

1

0

Decisions (resolutions) may relate to applications made in earlier quarters, and may include decisions based on rules in place before 9 July 2012.

Source:

Immigration Statistics, April-June 2013, table be_01_q

Table 2: Decisions on applications for an extension of stay by category
QuarterApplicant typeCategoryDecisionsGrantsRefusals

2012

Q3

Main applicant

Spouse (probationary period applications)

2,733

2,416

317

2012

Q3

Main applicant

Family Life (10 year route)

810

728

82

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2012

Q4

Main applicant

Spouse (probationary period applications)

4,514

3,731

783

2012

Q4

Main applicant

Family Life (10 year route)

1,571

1,471

100

2013

Q1

Main applicant

Spouse (probationary period applications)

11,896

9,027

2,869

2013

Q1

Main applicant

Family Life (10 year route)

2,610

2,501

109

2013

Q2

Main applicant

Spouse (probationary period applications)

5,811

4,282

1,529

2013

Q2

Main applicant

Family Life (10 year route)

5,041

3,757

1,284

Includes civil partners and unmarried partners.

Family Life (10 year route) relates to partners and parents who cannot satisfy the requirements for the 5 years family route but who are seeking to remain in the UK on the basis of their right to respect for family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

May include decisions based on rules in place before 9 July 2012.

Source:

Immigration Statistics, April-June 2013, table ex_01_q

It is not possible to separately identify decisions on applications made under the family Immigration Rules implemented on 9 July 2012.

The Home Office publishes quarterly and annual statistics on entry clearance and extension of stay decisions within the Immigration Statistics release. A copy of the latest release, Immigration Statistics April-June 2013, is available from the Library of the House and from https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/home-office/series/ immigration-statistics-quarterly-release.

Immigration: Non-EEA Partners

Question

Asked by Baroness Hamwee

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the impact on the time taken to process cases as a result of the current suspension of decision-making on non-European Economic Area spouse or partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications.[HL2144]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Non-EEA spouse or partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications have been put on hold since the 5 July 2013 High Court judgment in MM & Others, where the only grounds on which the application falls to be refused are the applicant's failure to meet the income threshold (under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules or the related evidential requirements under Appendix FM-SE). The Home Office is appealing

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against the judgment and such applications will remain on hold until the legal challenge has been finally determined by the Courts. The Court of Appeal has agreed to the Home Office’s request for expedition, but it is a matter for the Court how quickly the appeal is considered.

Immigration: Non-EEA Visas

Question

Asked by Baroness Hamwee

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they will take to process any backlog of non-European Economic Area spouse or partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications for which decision-making is currently suspended; and whether additional resources will be made available to meet any backlog.[HL2145]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Once the legal challenge, in MM & Others, to the income threshold under Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules has been finally determined by the Courts, the Home Office will determine, according to the outcome of those cases, how best to conclude those non-EEA spouse or partner and child settlement visa and leave to remain applications, which have been put on hold since the 5 July 2013 High Court judgment. In the mean time, an applicant whose case has been put on hold can withdraw their application and submit a fresh application if, by virtue of a change in circumstances, they can now meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules, including the income threshold under Appendix FM.

Immigration: Student Immigration Checks

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Taylor of Holbeach on 24 July (WA 206–7), what assessment they have made or intend to make of their plans to require landlords to conduct immigration checks on tenants, in the case of (1) European Union students, and (2) non-European Union students, awaiting a decision from the Home Office with regard to their leave to remain in the United Kingdom at the time of agreeing or renewing a tenancy agreement (or equivalent).[HL2136]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach): Home Office officials have engaged with a range of organisations that represent students during consultation on proposals to prevent illegal migrants obtaining privately rented accommodation. The consultation closed on 21 August 2013, and we are currently reviewing responses. A full consultation report and impact assessment will be published in due course.

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Medical Justice Report: Detention Centres

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the recent report from Medical Justice Expecting Change; and whether they have received representations from NHS trusts in the areas where detention centres exist.[HL2190]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have made to the responses of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives to the recent report from Medical Justice Expecting Change.[HL2192]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether pregnant asylum applicants are always treated as complex cases for maternity care.[HL2194]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): We have not responded formally to the Medical Justice report and have no plans to do so. Home Office Immigration Enforcement, which manages the immigration detention estate, would be happy to engage direct with the two Royal Colleges that expressed concern about issues raised in the report.

Asylum seekers, refused asylum seekers who are receiving support from the Home Office, and victims of human trafficking can access and are fully entitled to the National Health Service without charge.

The maternity care provided to those women by NHS midwives is covered by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines on complex pregnancies and should be the same high standard we expect all pregnant women to receive and this should include the high quality handovers of care between maternity services when women move from one area to another. This supports women receiving personalised maternity care which includes having a named midwife who is responsible for the majority of her care and continuity of care when that midwife is unavailable.

From 2013-14, the Department will also be introducing a maternity and children dataset which will provide details of the number of women who are asylum seekers and refugees receiving maternity care and will provide outcome data for mothers and babies to support commissioning and provision of care.

NHS: Consultants

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the numbers, broken down by country of origin including European Union member states, of overseas-qualified doctors who are currently working as NHS consultants. [HL2139]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The numbers, broken down by country of origin including European Union members states, of overseas qualified doctors who are currently working as National Health Service consultants in

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA437

England are not collected centrally. The annual workforce census published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre does show data on the country of qualification of overseas doctors.

The following table shows the number of consultants in England, by headcount and full-time equivalent, broken down to those who qualified within the United Kingdom, those who qualified within the remainder of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes European Union member states, and those who qualified in countries outside the EEA.

Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS): medical1 consultants by individual country of qualification

England at 30 September 2012
headcountfull-time equivalent

All Countries of Qualification

39,613

37,510

of which

Qualified in United Kingdom

26,201

24,470

Qualified in other EEA Country

2,846

2,725

Austria

18

16

Belgium

44

43

Bulgaria

31

29

Czech Republic

71

70

Denmark

17

16

Estonia

6

6

Finland

8

8

France

54

49

Germany

506

487

Greece

189

179

Hungary

102

97

Iceland

7

6

Irish Republic

848

810

Italy

238

228

Latvia

8

8

Lithuania

21

21

Malta

71

70

Netherlands

80

78

Norway

2

2

Poland

186

183

Portugal

13

12

Romania

61

58

Slovakia

18

18

Slovenia

3

3

Spain

205

192

Sweden

22

20

Switzerland

17

17

Qualified outside EEA

10,362

10,153

Afghanistan

4

4

Albania

2

2

Algeria

4

4

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA438

Argentina

28

28

Australia

246

228

Azerbaijan

1

1

Bangladesh

50

49

Belarus

6

6

Bosnia & Herzegovina

12

12

Brazil

19

18

Burma (now Myanmar)

73

71

Cameroon

4

4

Canada

17

16

Chile

7

7

China

14

14

Colombia

23

22

Croatia

8

8

Cuba

1

1

Dominica

1

1

Ecuador

1

1

Egypt

556

547

Ethiopia

11

11

Georgia

2

2

Ghana

75

75

Hong Kong

8

8

India

5,122

5,047

Iran

65

63

Iraq

408

399

Israel

8

6

Japan

4

4

Jordan

16

16

Kenya

16

16

Korea South

1

1

Kuwait

2

2

Kyrgyzstan

1

1

Lebanon

8

8

Libya

117

116

Macedonia

4

4

Malawi

8

8

Malaysia

22

22

Mexico

3

3

Montserrat

2

2

Morocco

1

1

Nepal

4

4

New Zealand

90

88

Nigeria

576

567

Oman

1

1

Pakistan

904

896

Panama

1

1

Papua New Guinea

1

1

Paraguay

1

1

Philippines

5

5

Rhodesia/Zimbabwe

73

72

Russia

60

57

Saudi Arabia

2

2

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA439

Serbia and Montenegro

40

39

Sierra Leone

3

3

Singapore

20

20

Somalia

1

1

South Africa

765

730

Sri Lanka

353

337

Sudan

109

108

Syria

96

95

Taiwan

1

1

Tajikistan

2

2

Tanzania

9

9

Thailand

2

2

Tunisia

4

4

Turkey

23

22

Uganda

14

13

Ukraine

22

22

United Arab Emirates

1

1

Uruguay

1

1

USA

28

26

Uzbekistan

2

2

Venezuela

2

2

West Indies Associated States

133

130

Yemen

1

1

Zaire (now Congo)

1

1

Zambia

30

30

Unknown Country of Qualification (medical staff)

204

162

Source:

Health and Social Care Information Centre Medical and Dental Workforce Census

Notes:

(1)

Excludes all doctors with a dental specialty. Information about country of qualification is derived from the General Medical Council. For staff in dental specialties, with a General Dental Council registration, the country of qualification is therefore not known.

NHS: Liverpool Care Pathway

Questions

Asked by The Lord Bishop of Bristol

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to ensure that quality statement six (holistic support—spiritual and religious) of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s 2011 quality standard for end of life care for adults is embedded in the end of life care proposals to replace the Liverpool Care Pathway.[HL2132]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Healthcare Chaplaincy is considered a “specialist service”, as referred to in recommendation 22 of the Independent Review of the Liverpool Care Pathway.[HL2133]

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA440

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The Government’s intention is for the Liverpool Care Pathway to be phased out over the next 6-12 months in favour of an individual approach to end of life care for each patient, with a personalised care plan backed up by condition-specific guidance and a named senior clinician responsible for its implementation.

Spiritual and religious support is an essential part of first-class end of life care. However we have yet to set out the specific responses to the Independent Review's recommendations. Over the coming weeks, the Department will be working with partner organisations, stakeholders and charities across health and care to inform a full system-wide response to the Review's recommendations later in the autumn.

Nigeria

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that 20 Nigerians in Bama and Damasak have been killed by members of Boko Haram; and what discussions they have had with the Government of Nigeria about the role of Boko Haram following the United Kingdom’s decision to proscribe that organisation.[HL2182]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The British Government condemn these attacks which targeted members of the Civilian Joint Task Force in Nigeria. This is the latest in a series of attacks on the Civilian Joint Task Force which is working with the Nigerian Security Forces to help protect communities from the terrorist threat posed by Boko Haram.

Following the decision to proscribe Boko Haram in the UK, the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs wrote to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague) expressing his Government’s gratitude for our decision and confirming their appreciation for our support in tackling the challenges posed by terrorism.

Philippines

Question

Asked by Lord Ashcroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the International Young Democrat Union’s statement in August 2013 regarding the negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. [HL2167]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): It is positive that the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) is taking an interest in negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). People

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA441

under the age of 40, about 65% of the Philippines population, have lived with this bloody and painful conflict their whole lives. With last year’s Framework Peace agreement, we can share the hope of the IYDU that today’s Filipino youth will be the generation that sees Mindanao flourish in peace and security along with the rest of the country.

The UK has provided support to efforts to resolve the conflict through our work in the International Contact Group (ICG) and we were therefore able to bear witness to the courage and commitment of President Aquino and the Chairman of the MILF, Al Haj Murad. As the two sides move beyond negotiation and begin work on implementing the agreement the UK will continue to offer support based on our own experiences of conflict resolution and of the nature of devolution in the UK.

Royal Family: Travel

Questions

Asked by Lord Berkeley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why the Duke of York travelled to Jeddah by charter flight, rather than scheduled service, on 19-20 June 2012 to present condolences on the death of Crown Prince Nayef; and how many people accompanied him on that visit.[HL2162]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which members of the Royal Family are entitled to publicly funded transport on official duties, and who authorises such expenditure.[HL2163]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they take to reduce the use of travel by helicopter by the Royal Family, in view of the costs incurred. [HL2164]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): It is for Her Majesty The Queen to decide which members of the Royal Family receive support from the Sovereign Grant to meet travel costs. The grant in aid for royal travel was incorporated into the Sovereign Grant with effect from 1 April 2012.

The Royal Household makes decisions on its travel arrangements in line with the explanation on page 11 of the Report and Accounts 2012-13:1

“The Sovereign Grant meets the cost of official journeys undertaken by or in support of members of the Royal Family. Travel by The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall between residences is categorized as official.

Safety, security, presentation, the need to minimise disruption for others, the effective use of time, environmental impact and cost are taken into account when deciding on the most appropriate means of travel. Staff may travel with members of the Royal Family or separately (e.g. to undertake reconnaissance visits or to arrive in advance).

The programme of overseas tours is determined by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and approved by the Royal Visits Committee according to agreed priorities.

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA442

The Royal Visits Committee is a Cabinet Committee, chaired by the Permanent Under Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and comprising the Private Secretaries to The Queen, The Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister, the Keeper of the Privy Purse, the Chief Executive of UKTI and the Director of Protocol, Foreign and Commonwealth Office”.

In deciding the most appropriate mode of travel for official travel, the household considers: safety, security, value for money, length of journey, minimizing the disruption to others, effective use of the Royal Family's time, environmental impact and transport consistent with the requirement and dignity of the occasion.

The Accounting Officer has a duty to use the Sovereign Grant economically and efficiently. The Household has discretion in how it uses these funds within the Royal Household Framework Agreement document agreed with the Treasury.2

http://www.royal.gov.uk/pdf/financial%20reports%202012-13/sovereign%20grant%202012-13%20-%20web.pdf

http://www.royal.gov.uk/pdf/Sovereign%20Grant/Sovereign%20grant%20framework%20agreement%20-% 20final%20for%20website.pdf

South Sudan

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people they estimate are now refugees or displaced people in South Sudan; and what are the current humanitarian priorities identified to assist and help them.[HL2184]

Baroness Northover: Based on figures from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there are approximately 222,000 (as of 25 August) refugees and 70,120 (as of 15 August) displaced people in total across South Sudan. This figure reflects people who have been accessed and assisted only. Due to access constraints, this figure under-represents the actual number of people displaced by violence in the country.

Our priority is to ensure the provision of life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection, and to press all parties to make every effort to ensure people have freedom of movement, and opportunities for safe and voluntary return to their homes. We continue to call on all armed groups to refrain from violence, in particular against civilians, in order to allow people to live in safety and security and access their homes, livelihoods and assistance.

Syria

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their latest assessment of the attack that occurred in the suburbs of Western and Eastern Ghouta, Damascus, on 21 August, including (1) the nature of the weapons used, (2) the number of people affected, and (3) the steps being taken to identify the perpetrators. [HL2179]

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA443

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): Multiple streams of intelligence indicate that the regime executed a chemical weapons attack against Damascus suburbs, using rockets, in the early hours of 21 August. Satellite detections indicate that rockets were launched from regime controlled territory early in the morning, approximately 90 minutes before the first report of a chemical attack appeared in social media. The lack of flight activity or missile launches leads us to conclude that the regime used rockets in the attack.

As a result, there is little serious dispute that chemical attacks causing mass casualties on a larger scale than hitherto (including, we judge, at least 350 fatalities) took place. The number of people affected is hard to verify but we believe it is between 1,188 and 3,600, which includes women and children.

UK, US and French intelligence assessments make clear that the regime was responsible for the attack. A UN investigation team collected samples from the incident area between 26-29 August. The UN team are expected to report their findings in the next two to three weeks, although the UN team does not have the mandate to establish who was responsible.

Our focus now is on making the case internationally for a robust response to the use of chemical weapons by the regime, and on bringing all sides together to achieve the political solution that is needed to end the conflict.

Turkey

Questions

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the trial process that led to the sentences given to opposition sitting MPs, journalists and retired military officers at Silvri Court, near Istanbul, on 5 August.[HL2185]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The Turkish authorities did not permit international observers into the courtroom. We have, however, noted the concern in Turkey about the trial and would expect some of those convicted to appeal their sentences.

We and our EU partners will continue to raise our concerns about the judicial process and wider human rights issues with the Turkish Government as part our regular dialogue, including on the EU accession process. We expect the EU’s assessment to be reflected in the Commission’s 2013 Annual Progress Report on Turkey which is due next month.

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 29 August (HL1960), whether they will now ask the Turkish authorities for the number of journalists detained in that country; and, if not, why not.[HL2188]

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA444

Baroness Warsi: The Government are concerned about the limits to freedom of expression in Turkey, including reports of high numbers of imprisoned journalists. In January 2013, the Turkish Minister of Justice publicly stated that no journalists were being held in Turkish prisons for expressing an opinion, and that only those who had committed criminal offences were being held. We raised the matter again with the Turkish authorities this week. We, and our EU partners, will continue to raise human rights as part of our broader dialogue with Turkey.

Universal Credit: Costs

Question

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the projected costs of the implementation of Universal Credit across the United Kingdom when their programme for implementation was first published; and how have the projected costs changed since that date.[HL2220]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The projected costs for the implementation of Universal Credit were £2 billion across the SR10 years (2011/12-2014/15) when the programme was first published. The programme continues to forecast that expenditure will remain within this budget.

Universal Credit: Timetable

Question

Asked by Lord Kirkwood of Kirkhope

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the timetable for the implementation of the universal credit across the United Kingdom when their programme for implementation was first published; and what changes have been made to the timetable since that date.[HL2219]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The Universal Credit (UC) Programme has always planned to complete the transition to UC by 2017, and this plan remains unchanged.

Following the successful launch of UC Pathfinder in April 2013, I set out (10th July) the plans for the further expansion and roll out of UC from October 2013.

This careful and controlled approach to implementation is the right approach to manage such complex and large-scale change. We will outline the longer term plans for UC implementation in the autumn.

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA445

War Memorials

Question

Asked by Lord West of Spithead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 6 August (HL1880) stating that the Royal Navy Division Memorial Charity owns the memorial on Horse Guards Parade, whether the charity still exists; whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is responsible for the maintenance of the memorial; and whether the water is running every day.[HL2149]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The cost of maintaining the fabric of the memorial is the responsibility of the Royal Navy Division Memorial Charity (No.262717), and it is administered by the Royal Marines Corps Secretary on behalf of the Commandant General of the Royal Marines. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is responsible for the water supply which runs every day except when there is a fault or a requirement to temporarily suspend the flow. Recently the water supply was turned off for one to two days while maintenance was carried out. Maintenance takes place approximately every six months. The water supply is currently on.

Answers received between Tuesday 10 September 2013 and Monday 16 September 2013

Armed Forces: Reserve Forces

Question

Asked by Lord Chidgey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have for addressing any shortfall in recruitment of army reservists intended to cover the reduction in regular troop numbers through planned redundancies.[HL2153]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of any shortfalls in recruitment of trained British Army Reservists on the United Kingdom’s ability to meet its global defence commitments.[HL2154]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever): The Army is working hard to ensure that the target of recruiting 30,000 trained reservists by 2018 is achieved. A number of measures have been put in place to address the challenges, including:

The launch of an Army Reserve marketing campaign including re-branding the Army to make it clear that it is an integrated regular and reserve force. Other campaigns will follow.The deployment of nearly 900 regular troops to reinforce the regional recruiting operations and employer engagement activities and reinforcing the manpower in the National Recruiting Centre (NRC) to accommodate the expected increase in demand.Strengthening links between the NRC and Army Reserve units.

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA446

Simplifying the transfer process for Regular to Army Reserve, reinforced with financial incentives and actively marketing the Army Reserves to service leavers.A reduction in the time taken to complete Phase 2 training.A review of the online medical screening processes.A much closer working relationship with employers.Exploring the greater use of sponsored reserves.

The Chief of the General Staff and his team assess the configuration of the Army set out in Army 2020 so it will deliver the level of capability agreed in the Strategic Defence and Security Review of October 2010.

Bank of England

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have sought the views of the new Governor of the Bank of England or the Financial Policy Committee on the impact of their housing finance policies and proposals on house prices and financial stability. [HL2175]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): The Government has a regular dialogue with the Bank of England on a range of issues relating to financial stability.

The Government has established the independent Financial Policy Committee (FPC) to monitor the stability of the financial system as a whole with a view to ensuring that emerging risks and vulnerabilities are identified and effectively addressed. Consistent with this mandate, the Government has stated that, should a Chancellor wish to extend the Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee scheme in the future, they will ask the FPC to make an assessment of the impact of the scheme on financial stability. The Government is working with the FPC to finalise the details of how this mechanism will work.

The new Governor of the Bank of England addressed the issue of the housing market specifically in a speech on the 28 August1. In that speech he noted that mortgage approvals and transactions are still well below pre-crisis levels and current house prices in line with those in 2003 relative to earnings.

1

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Pages/ speeches/2013/675.aspx

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the initial success of the Bank of England’s policy of forward guidance; and what role market rates of interest and the Sterling exchange rate play in that assessment.[HL2213]

Lord Deighton: The independent Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) macroeconomic policy tools, including the deployment of forward guidance, are designed to affect the economy as a whole, in order to meet the 2 per cent inflation target over the medium term.

As set out in their August 2013 assessment, the MPC has judged that in these exceptional circumstances, explicit forward guidance can enhance the effectiveness

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA447

of monetary stimulus, in part by reducing uncertainty about the future path of monetary policy as the economy recovers. In particular, it increases public understanding of the conditions under which the highly stimulative stance of monetary policy will be maintained.

Speaking on 24 August 2013, Charlie Bean, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, noted that:

“Short-term yields have moved up since our announcement on a string of good news about the economy, but the unemployment threshold, by serving as a reminder of just how much growth is needed to regain lost ground, should temper the extent of any tightening.”

Banks: Misselling Products and Services

Questions

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to take any regulatory action in connection with current directors and executives of United Kingdom banks who held board or senior positions at banks subsequently found to have been involved in misselling.[HL2173]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton): The Financial Conduct Authority is responsible for taking action under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) against bank directors or executives for misselling of financial products.

The Government set out its plans for measures to strengthen the framework in FSMA for ensuring the accountability of bank directors and executives in its response to the final report of the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, which was presented to Parliament as a Command Paper (Cm 8661) on 8 July 2013. The legislation to implement the measures will be included in amendments to the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Bill.

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will commission an independent review into the social and economic impact, including cross-subsidisation of higher wealth owners by poorer ones, of banks promoting or misselling retail products and services, and the incentive for banks to do so.[HL2176]

Lord Deighton: The Government has no plans to commission an independent review. The Government has been clear that the misselling of financial products is wrong. That is why, through the Financial Services Act 2012, the Government has set out its policies to strengthen the financial regulatory structure. As a focused conduct of business regulator, the FCA has, as its core purpose, protecting and enhancing consumers’ confidence in financial services. The FCA is not prepared to see consumer detriment occur, taking a more proactive, interventionist approach to retail conduct regulation.

23 Sep 2013 : Column WA448

Church of England

Question

Asked by Lord Trefgarne

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their involvement in the procedure for appointing Church of England bishops to dioceses within the United Kingdom.[HL2177]

Lord Newby: The Prime Minister submits to The Queen nominations for diocesan and suffragan bishops in England made respectively by the Crown Nominations Commission and the relevant diocesan bishop. The Prime Minister is represented on the Commission by his appointments secretary, who is a non-voting member. The Government is not involved in the appointment of bishops in other parts of the United Kingdom.