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Written Answers

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Aerospace Industry

Questions

Asked by Lord Jones

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the current number of jobs in existence in the United Kingdom aerospace industry. [HL4199]

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Livingston of Parkhead) (Con): The UK aerospace sector directly employs over 100,000 people and indirectly supports an additional 130,000 jobs.

Asked by Lord Jones

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what financial and other support the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has given to non-destructive testing and training in aerospace; and in which United Kingdom locations such operations have taken place.[HL4200]

Lord Livingston of Parkhead: Non-destructive testing is carried out widely by the aerospace industry to validate the quality of components during research and development activity and production. The funding provided by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills through collaborative Research and Development grants and repayable interest-bearing loans will have included elements of non-destructive testing and training.

Asked by Lord Jones

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what grants they have made in each of the last five years to aerospace companies for the purpose of research. [HL4201]

Lord Livingston of Parkhead: The following grants were paid to aerospace companies including their academic partners between 2008 and 2013 for the purposes of collaborative research on civil aerospace projects:

2008/09 - £74 million

2009/10 - £84 million

2010/11 - £73 million

2011/12 - £59 million

2012/13 - £55 million

Asked by Lord Jones

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the value of exports from the United Kingdom by the aerospace industry in each of the last five years. [HL4202]

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Lord Livingston of Parkhead: The value of aerospace exports from the UK between 2008 and 2012 are as follows:

2008 - £14.26 billion

2009 - £15.89 billion

2010 - £17.93 billion

2011 - £20.61 billion

2012 - £22.4 billion

The export value for 2013 was not yet released at time of writing.

(Source ONS)

Afghanistan

Questions

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many cases of intimidation in Afghanistan were reported to the Intimidation Investigation Unit in the calendar years from (1) June 2011, and (2) June 2012. [HL4116]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): Prior to the formation of the Intimidation Investigation Unit in June 2013 there were 31 reported instances of intimidation in the period June 2011 until May 2012 and 64 reported instances from June 2012 until May 2013.

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether reports from the Afghanistan Intimidation Investigation Unit and the corresponding in-theatre decision panel are available for publication.[HL4117]

Lord Astor of Hever: It is not Ministry of Defence policy to publish information on cases of alleged intimidation of current or former Locally Employed Staff, as to do so would put the personal safety of those involved at risk

Air Ambulance Service

Question

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what support they provide to the air ambulance service.[HL4153]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Air ambulance services are largely provided and funded through charitable donations. Since April 2002, the National Health Service normally provide and fund the cost of staff on air ambulances; however the level of funding support varies from charity to charity; some fully fund their own medical staff on their ambulance, others receive more NHS funding support.

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NHS England work closely with air ambulance charities at a local level as part of their considerations of the urgent and emergency care mix in different areas of the country.

Alcohol

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to continue measuring alcohol stealth admissions to hospitals in the new Public Health Outcomes Framework; and if not, why not.[HL4007]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): 'Alcohol stealth admissions' is not a recognised or widely used term. If it is taken to mean admissions for people with medical conditions, whether these are conditions wholly caused by alcohol use, or whether they are conditions caused by alcohol use in an estimated percentage of cases, then we intend to continue to publish measures of alcohol-related admissions for patients with all such conditions where there is good evidence that alcohol is a causal factor.

A consultation was carried out last year jointly by Public Health England, the Department and the Health and Social Care Information Centre about the methods used to estimate alcohol-related admissions to hospital.

The consultation was driven by an improved understanding of methodological issues associated with measuring alcohol-related admissions and the need to include the best available indicator on alcohol-related admissions in the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF).

We announced the conclusions of the consultation on 13 November. These are that:

— A new measure which uses primary diagnoses plus mentions of alcohol-related external causes in secondary diagnosis fields will give a more reliable measure of local trends in alcohol-related hospital admissions and will be used in the PHOF. It is important to note that both conditions wholly caused by alcohol use and conditions with an estimated percentage caused by alcohol may be included in primary or secondary diagnosis fields; and— The current method of measuring alcohol-related hospital admissions using primary and secondary diagnosis fields will continue to be published for each local area, giving a good measure of the broader impact of alcohol on local hospital services.

The report can be found on the Local Alcohol Profiles for England website.

www.lape.org.uk

Anguilla

Question

Asked by Lord Boateng

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Northover on 17 December (WA 169), what technical assistance in economic and financial management to the government of Anguilla resulted from the visits of United Kingdom officials referred to; and at what cost and over what period it was provided.[HL4266]

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Baroness Northover (LD): The UK routinely provides technical assistance to Overseas Territory governments, including through economic update visits. FCO and DFID officials visits to Anguilla in 2012 and 2013 led to: (i) advice on economic and financial management delivered by UK Government staff from the information gathered during the one-week visits; and (ii) expert consultancy advice to assist the Government of Anguilla in fiscal risk management and budget monitoring. The expert provided advice between March and November 2012 at a total cost of £40,641.55.

Apprenticeships

Question

Asked by Lord Jones

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the current number of apprenticeships in the United Kingdom aerospace industry.[HL4198]

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Livingston of Parkhead) (Con): Final data on apprenticeship starts by framework title for the 2002/03 to 2012/13 academic years are published at the following link:

http://www.thedataservice.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/A358E6DC-825D-40B0-94BC-039C0443DAA0/0/Nov2013_Apprenticeship_Starts_Framework_Grouped.xls

Apprenticeship data are not available by industry. Within an industry, a learner may undertake a wide range of apprenticeship frameworks.

Armed Forces: Afghanistan

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many members of the Armed Forces have been repatriated to Selly Oak Hospital during operations in Afghanistan; how many have subsequently been discharged from the forces on medical grounds; and how many returned to their Service.[HL4110]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): Selly Oak Hospital was home to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine (RCDM) until it moved to the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham in 2010.

There were 2,912 UK Armed Forces personnel aeromedically evacuated from Afghanistan to the RCDM between 1 January 2003 (earliest data available) and 31 October 2013 (the latest data available). Of these, 279 were subsequently medically discharged from the Armed Forces prior to 31 March 2013 (the latest data available) and 1,889 were still in the Armed Forces on 1 November 2013.

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Armed Forces: Sexual Assault

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many allegations of sexual assault by colleagues in the Armed Forces were made in 2012 by (1) women, and (2) men; what proportion were subsequently withdrawn; and what proportion of each led to any form of disciplinary action.[HL4112]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): Set out below are details of relevant allegations dealt with by the Service Police during 2012 where both the complainant and the suspect were members of the Armed Forces.

The Service Police recorded five investigations under Section 2 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (S.2 SOA 03) — Sexual Assault by Penetration. Of these five, three involved allegations by females and two involved allegations by males.

The Service Police also recorded 27 investigations under Section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 (S.3 SOA 03) — Sexual Assault. Of these 27, 19 involved allegations by 21 females (two cases involved two complainants). Eight cases involved allegations by 11 males (one case involving three complainants and one case involving two complainants).

The outcomes of these 32 investigations are recorded as follows:

Five investigations against five suspects resulted in Courts Martial Proceedings in which a Guilty verdict was returned.

Two investigations against three suspects resulted in Courts Martial Proceedings in which a Guilty verdict was returned for lesser offences under the Armed Forces Act 2006.

Nine resulted in Courts Martial Proceedings in which a Not Guilty verdict was returned.

Four investigations resulted in the Service Police referring four suspects for charge. However, upon analysis of the evidence the Service Prosecuting Authority concluded that there was no realistic prospect of conviction.

Two investigations against two suspects resulted in No Crime Established.

Three investigations against three suspects were withdrawn.

Three investigations are listed as suspect not identified.

Four investigations are ongoing against four suspects.

Armed Forces: Training

Questions

Asked by Baroness Goudie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what will be the cost of their commitment to train 30 Burmese army officers; and from which department's budget those costs will be met.[HL4078]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): £87,850 is currently allocated for the Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context course which will take place in January 2014. It is funded from the Conflict Pool.

Asked by Baroness Goudie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why the training they are providing for the Burmese army is not being provided in the United Kingdom.[HL4079]

Lord Astor of Hever: The Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context course will be delivered in Burma in January 2014 by the UK Defence Academy and Cranfield University. The course, tailored for Burma, will teach how defence works within a democratic framework. Five personnel will travel and be accommodated in Burma rather than 30 personnel who would need to travel if the course was in the UK. For the numbers attending this course it is more cost effective to send a team to country.

Armed Forces: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Questions

Asked by Baroness Stern

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 13 June (WA 254), whether any unit of the British armed forces or United Kingdom personnel other than the British Army Training Unit in Kenya operate unmanned aerial systems in Africa for the purpose of training or any other purpose.[HL4025]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): No Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are currently operated in Africa by the British armed forces, other than at the British Army Training Unit Kenya used for training purposes. UK personnel embedded with the US Air Force have flown US Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems in Africa in support of Op Ellamy (Libya) and the UK has an officer seconded to the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) who is responsible for co-ordinating the operation of UN contracted unarmed UAS in support of MONUSCO operations.

Asked by Baroness Stern

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Astor of Hever on 19 March (WA 127), whether training or trial events of unmanned aircraft systems other than Reaper have been carried out in United Kingdom airspace with international partners.[HL4026]

Lord Astor of Hever: No joint training or trials events of Ministry of Defence (MOD) unmanned air systems have taken place with international partners in United Kingdom airspace. The MOD has, however, supported French forces' evaluation of the Watchkeeper unmanned air system, an element of which took place

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at Parc Aberporth, which is in segregated airspace. This activity was independent from the United Kingdom Watchkeeper programme.

Armed Forces: Veterans' Card

Question

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consideration they have given to introducing a veterans' card providing rights to veterans in such areas as public transport or the use of leisure facilities. [HL4154]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): Plans for a national identity card scheme were cancelled as part of the Government's commitment to tackle the budget deficit, and there are no current plans to introduce an ID card for former Service personnel. However, this issue is kept under review and is reconsidered on a periodic basis.

The provision of concessionary travel to veterans of the UK Armed Forces is a matter for the public transport operating companies. The Ministry of Defence is not in a position to provide any concessions but is grateful to those organisations which do. For example, Transport for London runs a veterans concessionary travel scheme, which includes free travel on all forms of London public transport, designed for veterans in receipt of war pension scheme or Armed Forces compensation scheme payments. Veterans may also gain travel concessions through existing, publicly available schemes, such as family or pensioners cards supplied by the operating companies.

In addition, in 2012 we launched the Defence Discount Service and Defence Privilege Card, which are open to both serving members of the Armed Forces and their spouses or partners as well as veterans, Service widow/ers and bereaved children. A very wide range of discounts, including for leisure facilities, are available via the scheme website (www.defencediscountservice.co.uk) and directly through participating companies, either on-line or in the High Street.

Arts: Couper Collection

Question

Asked by Lord Boateng

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether any communication has taken place between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Port of London Authority, and the Trustees of the Couper Collection in order to preserve that collection and to continue to ensure it is available for public viewing and use on the Thames.[HL4267]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): The Department’s Correspondence Management System shows no record of any such communication from the Port of London Authority or the Trustees of the Couper Collection being received in the Department.

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Aviation: Air Passenger Duty

Question

Asked by Lord Rowe-Beddoe

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why they have decided to devolve the control of Air Passenger Duty to the Northern Ireland Assembly but not the National Assembly for Wales, in the light of the Silk Commission's recommendations.[HL4250]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Government has devolved direct long-haul rates of air passenger duty (APD) to the Northern Ireland Assembly. This takes into account the unique position of Northern Ireland, which is the only part of the UK sharing a land border with another EU Member State, which has a lower rate of aviation tax.

As set out in the response to the Silk Commission, the Government is not convinced of the case for devolving APD to Wales given the potential effects across the country as a whole. In particular, a report published by HMRC in 2012 highlighted that different rates either side of the Wales/England border would be likely to lead to market distortions that redistributed passengers between airports without significantly increasing the overall demand within the UK.

Aviation: Airbuses

Questions

Asked by Lord Jones

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total amount of Government funding for the development of the Airbus A380 aircraft.[HL4189]

The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Livingston of Parkhead) (Con): The UK Government provided a repayable interest-bearing loan of £530 million to contribute towards Airbus' design and development costs for the A380 programme.

Asked by Lord Jones

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much funding they have provided for the Airbus A50 airliner.[HL4197]

Lord Livingston of Parkhead: The Noble Lord is advised that there is no Airbus aircraft programme called the A50. We have assumed there was a typographical error in the question and it was meant to say A350. The question has been answered based on this assumption.

The Government has committed to provide up to a total of £400 million to GKN and Airbus in the form of repayable interest-bearing loans to contribute towards the design and development costs for the A350 XWB programme.

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Aviation: Airline Charges

Questions

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the charges imposed by some airlines in addition to the cost of the fare.[HL4258]

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Baroness Kramer) (LD): No assessment has been made. Pricing policies are a matter for the airlines. However, Regulation EC1008/2008 on Common Rules of the Operation of Air Services in the Community includes measures on airline ticket pricing.

Article 23 of the regulation requires the final price of an air ticket (inclusive of all foreseeable and unavoidable taxes, fees and charges) to be displayed at all times. Any optional price supplements, such as those covering hold baggage or insurance, must be communicated clearly at the start of the booking process. The acceptance of optional price supplements by the customer must be on an ‘opt-in’ basis.

Since October 2012 the Civil Aviation Authority published a summary (updated quarterly) of the optional charges levied by the top airlines in the UK in one price comparison document. Information on the cost of taking hold luggage on board, having an in-flight meal and reserving specific seats is all included, as well as a range of other optional charges that airlines may apply. A link to the summary can be found via the following link:

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/2200/Comparing_ airline_charges.pdf

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the compulsory booking fees added to the price of tickets purchased through some ticketing companies.[HL4259]

Baroness Kramer: No assessment has been made. Pricing policies are a matter for the airlines.

However, Regulation EC1008/2008 on Common Rules of the Operation of Air Services in the Community includes measures on airline ticket pricing. Article 23 of the regulation requires the final price of an air ticket (inclusive of all foreseeable and unavoidable taxes, fees and charges) to be displayed at all times. Any optional price supplements, such as those covering hold baggage or insurance, must be communicated clearly at the start of the booking process. The acceptance of optional price supplements by the customer must be on an ‘opt-in’ basis.

Bangladesh

Questions

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have assessed the process whereby members of the Awami League are declared elected without a vote in Bangladesh in the context of the aspects of the

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Harare Declaration relating to the right to participate in free and democratic political processes; and whether they intend to propose that the Commonwealth take steps in relation to the democratic process in Bangladesh.[HL4142]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We note that ahead of polling on 5 January, 154 seats are now uncontested, over half of Bangladesh’s 300 constituencies. The UK has repeatedly urged all parties to facilitate conditions conducive to peaceful, credible, elections that express the genuine will of the people. It is therefore disappointing that less than half of the electorate will have the opportunity to express their democratic choice through the ballot box. We will continue to work with international partners, including the Commonwealth, to support a sustainable outcome. We continue to encourage Commonwealth members to uphold Commonwealth values, as set out in the Commonwealth Charter.

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Baroness Warsi made any comments on the execution of Abdul Quader Molla during her recent visit to Bangladesh, or on the manner in which the elections there are being conducted; and if so, whether they will place a copy of those comments in the Library of the House.[HL4272]

Baroness Warsi: In my meeting with the Bangladeshi Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on 12 December I expressed my concern at the imminent execution and restated our opposition to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances. At the subsequent press conference, I reiterated our absolute opposition to the death penalty in all countries and in all circumstances.

I called on the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Speaker, Leader of the Opposition and Chief Election Commissioner. I urged all parties to resolve their differences and find a sustainable way forward through constructive dialogue. A copy of my Press Statement will be placed in the Library of the House.

Banking: Banknotes

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with the vending industry to ensure that the industry is able to use plastic banknotes. [HL4257]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The day-to-day arrangements for printing, issue and circulation of banknotes are the responsibility of the Bank of England.

As stated in the Bank's recent news release, they have consulted with a wide range of stakeholders in the cash industry, including the vending industry.

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The Bank will continue its dialogue with the industry including hosting an Industry Forum in February 2014. Stakeholders from the vending industry will be invited to this event.

Banking: Bonuses

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the latest situation in relation to the proposals by the European Commission to place limits on the level of bonuses that can be paid to bankers.[HL4150]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): In September 2013 the Government launched a legal challenge to the bonus cap under the EU Capital Requirements Directive 4. These rules, rushed through without any assessment of their impact, risk undermining the significant progress we have made to align remuneration with risk by pushing bankers' fixed pay up rather than down. In our view, regulating pay in this way also goes beyond what is permitted in the EU Treaty.

Given our obligations under European law, pending the outcome of the challenge, the UK is implementing the CRD4 remuneration provisions.

The Government has transposed the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD4). The Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority are responsible for the detailed implementation of these rules, including the limit on variable remuneration in relation to fixed remuneration for material risk takers at banks.

Banking: LIBOR

Question

Asked by Lord Empey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much money has been allocated from LIBOR-fixing fines to military charities in (1) England, (2) Scotland, (3) Wales and, (4) Northern Ireland.[HL4244]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): I can confirm that the £35m of LIBOR fines announced by the Chancellor in October 2012 has been allocated in the following way:

(1) In England 37 Charities received £10,556,547.63.(2) In Scotland 12 Charities received £5,455,310.00.(3) In Wales 3 Charities received £2,406,846.89.(4) In Northern Ireland 1 Charity received £50,000.00.

In addition, 40 UK wide projects were awarded £16,167,817.90.

Barnet Formula

Question

Asked by Viscount Astor

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what additional funds will be allocated to (1) Wales, (2) Scotland, and (3) Northern Ireland, as a consequential settlement under the Barnett Formula in relation to HS2 Phases One and Two.[HL4278]

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The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The 2010 Spending Review fixed spending budgets for each Government department until 2014-15. Each of the devolved administrations received Barnett consequentials on changes to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) budget in the normal way, as set out in the Statement of Funding Policy. The budgets that were set at the 2010 Spending Review for DfT included expenditure on HS2.

Using the same calculation, the devolved administrations received Barnett Consequentials on the changes to the DfT 2015-16 budget in the 2013 Spending Round. Departmental and devolved administration budgets were set out in the relevant HM Treasury publications at the time of the announcements.

The framework used to calculate devolved administrations’ allocations is expected to be updated at the next full Spending Review, as is usual practice, and will reflect the latest information on departmental spending.

BBC World Service

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the new licensing arrangements for the BBC World Service require consultation with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office over the services which will be provided.[HL4286]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The BBC Trust consulted widely earlier this year, including with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, on a draft Operating Licence for the BBC World Service. The Operating Licence will come into effect on 1 April 2014, setting out the services provided by the World Service, its scope and contribution to the BBC’s public purpose, as well as the annual budget.

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the current BBC World Service mandate to “address the enduring global gap in the provision of trusted international news” in countries where access to trusted news is not possible will remain part of its mandate from April 2014; and whether they consider that the requirement is being met on the Korean Peninsula.[HL4287]

Baroness Warsi: The new Operating Licence for the BBC World Service will come into effect on 1 April 2014. It describes how the World Service will continue to “...contribute to the BBC’s international news mission to address the global gap in provision of trusted international news..”. The BBC World Service is editorially, managerially and operationally independent of government - so decisions on services are for them to consider.

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The vast majority of North Koreans have no access to international news, despite the efforts of a number of organisations, including those currently broadcasting into North Korea from outside the country. The BBC World Service Board has concluded they cannot provide a service that would have a meaningful impact on this situation.

Benefits

Question

Asked by Baroness Campbell of Surbiton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many people have successfully appealed since December 2012 against new sanctions applied in relation to receipt of Employment Support Allowance; and how many of those individuals had (1) mental health conditions, (2) sight loss, and (3) learning disabilities.[HL4137]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The information requested by medical condition is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

However information on appeals and reconsiderations for Employment and Support Allowance sanction decisions since December 2012 is shown in the table below:

ESA Sanction Decisions: Appeals and Reconsiderations by type of decision 3 December 2012 to 30 June 2013 (Great Britain).

LevelOutcomeFailure to attend mandatory interviewFailure to participate in Work Related ActivityTotal

Appealed Decision

Non-adverse

20

10

30

Adverse

20

20

40

Cancelled

-

-

-

Total

40

30

70

Reconsidered Decision

Non-adverse

350

2,120

2,470

Adverse

230

1,230

1,460

Cancelled

10

50

60

Total

590

3,400

3,990

Source:

Decision Making and Appeals System (DMAS)

Notes:

1. Values are rounded to the nearest 10. '-' indicates a nil or negligible value. Due to rounding totals may not be the sum of the individual cells.

2. Data to 30th June 2013 is the latest available information. The new sanctions regime started on 3rd December 2012 for ESA.

3. Decision: An adverse decision is one that is found against the claimant. A non adverse decision is one that is found in favour of the claimant.

4. Sanctions statistics in relation to receipt of Employment Support Allowance can be found, along with Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions information, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/jobseekers-allowance-sanctions

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Britons Living and Working Abroad

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many United Kingdom subjects (1) live, and (2) work, in other European Union countries.[HL4225]

Lord Bates (Con): 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 Moonie, dated December 2013.

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking Her Majesty's Government how many United Kingdom subjects (1) live, and (2) work, in other European Union countries. [CO] HL4225

The ONS does not collect information regarding British citizens resident in other EU countries, or on the status of their employment. However, Eurostat publishes figures on population by citizenship for EU countries, these are available at: http://epp.eurostat. ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/population/data/database

ONS produces estimates of Long-Term International Migration flows which are primarily based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS). Detailed information on countries of next residence of emigrants from the UK is available for 1975 to 2012 using the IPS component of these estimates. Published estimates on the Top 10 countries of next residence for emigrants who are British citizens can be found in our Series 3 tables (3.20b) on the ONS website at: http://www.ons. gov.uk/ons/rel/migrationl/long-term-international-migration/2012/table-3-20abc.xls

Burma

Questions

Asked by Baroness Jenkin of Kennington

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 19 November (WA 184), which existing projects in Burma will be incorporated into the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI); which new PSVI projects will be undertaken in Burma; and, how much funding is being allocated to each of those projects.[HL4072]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): Our Embassy project work on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) in Rangoon currently totals over £300,000 for the next 15 months. We are currently supporting a project to train 60 women in Burma in basic legal skills so that they can provide advice to victims of sexual violence on how to access legal and other support services. In addition, community leaders and local government staff in 40 target villages will participate in workshops and receive psychosocial training to gain a better understanding

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of their potential role in preventing sexual violence in their own community. This project will benefit women and girls in Kachin, Kayah, Rakhine, Meiktila, and Pyapon. We are also funding separate work to engage with non-state armed groups in support of our existing work on the wider peace process. We will continue to look for further opportunities to incorporate PSVI in to our work and engage with the Burmese government on this issue.

Asked by Baroness Goudie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether Her Majesty's Ambassador to Burma has hosted any meetings or conferences of different religious and ethnic groups in order to promote tolerance and understanding.[HL4077]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): Our Ambassador to Burma has frequently hosted meetings bringing together leaders of different faiths, including during the visit of the Speaker of the House of Commons in July 2013, when representatives from the Hindu, Christian, Buddhist and Muslim faiths discussed how to promote tolerance and understanding in the country. Our Ambassador and Embassy officials meet regularly with representatives of all faith communities, both in Rangoon and in the wider country. Our Embassy in Burma also frequently hosts meetings with leaders of Burma’s ethnic minority groups, including during the visit of the International Development Committee in November 2013, and on regular visits to ethnic minority states throughout 2013. The UK is also supporting interfaith dialogue to help build trust between communities – for example a project promoting peace building among interfaith youths to encourage reconciliation between communities.

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the anticipated outcomes of providing training for the Burmese army.[HL4148]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Astor of Hever) (Con): The UK Defence Academy and Cranfield University will deliver a Managing Defence in the Wider Security Context course in Burma in January 2014. Over a 14 year period, this course has been delivered to representatives from 101 different nationalities and it is exported annually to 12 prioritised nations or regions across the world.

The programme has been designed around a theme that will examine the legal framework by which defence and security operations are legitimised and controlled, and it will draw attention to human rights and international humanitarian law.

The objectives for each participant are that they will have had an education in:

The structures and processes through which security can be legitimately governed and managed;

Professionalism within the defence and security sectors as it pertains to civilian and security personnel;

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The significance of leadership, governance and management in the attainment of higher professional standards;

The implications and benefits of enhanced professionalism for the civil-military relationship;

And the wider consequences of enhanced professionalism for international security.

The course is being delivered as part of Her Majesty's Government wider strategy to support democratic reform in Burma and through engagement with the Tatmadaw, we hope to impart the values and ethos of a professional military that operates within a democratic society.

Caste Discrimination

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the work undertaken by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the definition of caste, in particular in relation to refining the definition of caste through the public consultation on the prospective caste legislation; and whether the existing protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010 underwent a similar process.[HL4138]

Baroness Northover (LD): The research work is commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and no government assessment will be made until it is completed.

All of the protected characteristics, included in the Equality Act 2010, were already protected under previous domestic legislation thus obviating the need for further research or public consultation before their inclusion in the Act.

Central African Republic

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what further steps will be taken to help protect civilians and address the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic; whether there are plans to provide logistical support to the French mission; whether they intend to apply targeted sanctions against those guilty of grave crimes; and whether they intend to support the deployment of a fully equipped United Nations force.[HL4147]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The priority of the international community is to restore basic security and ensure humanitarian assistance can be delivered to those in need. To that end, the UK strongly supported UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2127 which mandated the immediate deployment of French forces and the African-led International Support Mission (MISCA) with the aim of protecting civilians and stabilising the country. The Resolution also called for

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA249

planning to begin for a possible UN Peacekeeping Operation in the future. The UK provided logistical support to the French mission, at the request of the French government, in the form of three flights to carry French equipment to the Central African Republic (CAR) (see the Written Ministerial Statement of 9 December 2013).

The UK has provided £15 million of aid to CAR in response to the poor humanitarian situation, and is encouraging further contributions from international partners. We remain extremely concerned about reports of human rights abuses in CAR. CAR’s National Transitional Council must work with the UN Peacebuilding Office in CAR (BINUCA) and the new UN Commission of Inquiry to ensure that abuses are fully documented and perpetrators are prosecuted - in conjunction with the International Criminal Court where appropriate. We will consider the possibility of targeted sanctions as the situation continues to develop in conjunction with international partners.

Children: Unique Individual Identifier

Question

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations have been made to them by senior professional interests about the effects on the health and physical safety of children of delays in the adoption of a unique individual identifier using the National Health Service number to collate information across agencies relating to individual children; whether any such representations have focused on the position adopted by the education sector, nationally and locally, in respect of adopting the National Health Service number for that purpose; which Minister is responsible for resolving outstanding matters on the issue; and in which year they now plan to introduce the unique identifier for children.[HL4211]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum recommended that the National Health Service Number should be used as the unique identifier to bring together health, education and social care data for all children and young people in its report published in July 2012. Since then Forum members have made regular representations to the Department to seek updates on progress. Forum members are aware that Departmental officials had a discussion last year with the Secondary Heads Reference Group, facilitated by the Department for Education, in which they highlighted their concerns around costs and benefits.

Using the NHS Number as an identifier, at the point of care, for all publicly funded health and adult social care services by 2015 is central to the Department's Information Strategy. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health, Dr Daniel Poulter, recently agreed with the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, Edward Timpson, that we undertake a short term piece of work to test the case for the NHS Number as a cornerstone of care records across health and children's social care, with a workshop which we are proposing to be held in February 2014.

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China

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, during their recent trade missions, the Prime Minister or the Chancellor of the Exchequer raised concerns with the government of China about the number of executions in that country.[HL4146]

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Hill of Oareford) (Con): My Right Honourable Friend the Prime Minister raised concerns about human rights during his recent visit to China, and agreed with Premier Li that we would hold the next round of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in early 2014. This is the right occasion for the detailed expert discussion of these issues.

Commonwealth: Heads of Government Meeting

Question

Asked by Lord Howell of Guildford

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decision by Mauritius to withdraw its offer to host the next scheduled Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in 2015; and whether they considered the United Kingdom as an alternative venue.[HL4218]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): We respect Mauritius’ decision not to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in 2015. At the 2013 CHOGM in Colombo, the UK, along with the rest of the Commonwealth, welcomed and accepted Malta’s offer to host CHOGM in 2015.

Commonwealth: UK Elections

Questions

Asked by Lord Bowness

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Commonwealth citizens who do not also hold a United Kingdom passport are registered as eligible to vote in United Kingdom Parliamentary elections. [HL4235]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many Commonwealth citizens who do not also hold a United Kingdom passport are eligible to vote in United Kingdom Parliamentary elections, broken down by Commonwealth country.[HL4238]

Lord Bates (Con): The Government does not hold this data.

Asked by Lord Bowness

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, when a country leaves the Commonwealth or is suspended from membership, whether any citizens of that country resident in the United Kingdom who do not also hold a United Kingdom passport remain eligible to vote in United Kingdom Parliamentary elections. [HL4236]

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To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether citizens of countries which apply for and are accepted into membership of the Commonwealth, who are resident within the United Kingdom and who do not also hold a United Kingdom passport, become eligible to vote in United Kingdom Parliamentary elections. [HL4237]

Lord Bates: Citizens of countries who have been accepted into membership of the Commonwealth become eligible to vote if their country has been included on the list of Commonwealth countries in Schedule 3 of the British Nationality Act 1981.

When a country is suspended or departs from the Commonwealth, decisions are taken on a case by case basis as to whether its citizens should retain Commonwealth status.

Courts: Judicial Deployment

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord McNally on 11 December (WA 114–15), whether the annual local assessment of judicial needs is published; and, if so, whether they will place a copy in the Library of the House. [HL4161]

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): The annual local assessment of judicial needs is neither collated centrally at present, nor published. The ‘Protocol to support Judicial Deployment in the Magistrates’ Courts’ was used for the first time this year and the Senior Presiding Judge’s Magistrates’ Liaison Group will be making an assessment of the initial operation of the Protocol in the New Year.

Cyprus and Northern Cyprus

Question

Asked by Lord Sharkey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what support, financial or otherwise, they have given to Cyprus in each of the last five years; what proportion of any such support was targeted at Northern Cyprus; and what assessments they have made of the effects of the various elements of any support.[HL4203]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The British Government continues to strongly support all efforts to achieve a comprehensive solution to the division of Cyprus. In the past five years, UK cooperation with Cyprus has included support during the management of the financial crisis and helping prepare the Turkish Cypriot community to reach and implement a comprehensive settlement to the division of Cyprus, as well as capacity-building in a range of areas, from road safety to tackling football hooliganism.. Significant programmes include:

• The EU Aid Programme for the Turkish Cypriot community has a budget of €310.65 million (£258.70 million) over the period 2006- 2012. EU Member States contribute to the EU Budget as a

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whole and not to individual spending programmes within it. For reference, the UK's post-abatement financing share of the total budget is estimated to be around 12.5% in 2013.• UK projects in support of the EU Aid Programme amount to approximately £2.5m in the last five years.• The Government of Cyprus agreed a €10 billion (£8.3 billion) financial assistance programme with the euro area and International Monetary Fund in March 2013. As an IMF shareholder, the UK contributes indirectly to this through the IME's €1 billion (£0.83 billion) loan. The UK lends to the IMF as an institution and not to particular programmes; therefore, it is not possible to provide an exact estimate of the UK's contribution to individual IMF programmes.• HM Government provided technical assistance to the Government of Cyprus during the Cypriot financial crisis. This included a team of UK officials going to Cyprus.• The UK has implemented several bilateral cooperation projects with the Republic of Cyprus in the last five years, with a total spend of £140,000. In 2013-14, the public sector reform element of this is expected to amount to £75,580.• The UK has also directly contributed approximately £189,100 to the work of the Committee for Missing Persons in Cyprus since 2006.

Deposit Protection Service

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the efficacy of the Deposit Protection Service and of the level of legal expertise it employs in the adjudication of contested claims for the recovery of deposits.[HL4160]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): The Deposit Protection Service is required to submit monthly reports on key performance indicators to the Department for Communities and Local Government. In addition, the Department holds quarterly monitoring meetings with the Deposit Protection Service at which any performance issues can be discussed. Over the six and a half years that the scheme has been operating, the Deposit Protection Service's performance has been consistently high.

The Deposit Protection Service is required to provide a free, impartial and evidence-based dispute resolution process. We have not made any assessment of the level of legal expertise employed by Deposit Protection Service in the dispute resolution process, but the tenancy deposit protection schemes have worked together to produce guidance on the dispute resolution process to ensure consistency in adjudication decisions across the schemes.

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Education: Korean

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will ensure that schools offering the study of the Korean language have the opportunity of GCSE examinations made available to their students. [HL4285]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): GCSEs are available in a wide range of languages, but no exam board has yet chosen to develop a GCSE in Korean. Were such a GCSE to be developed, it would be the responsibility of Ofqual, the exams regulator, to make sure that it was developed so that the qualification was fit for purpose, fair and valid, and allowed standards to be maintained.

Education: Special Educational Needs

Question

Asked by The Earl of Dundee

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have to prevent the closure of local schools already providing special needs as well as mainstream education.[HL4245]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Local authorities (LAs) are under a duty to ensure that there are sufficient school places for all children in their area, including those with special needs. To help them meet this duty, LAs have the power to propose the closure of maintained schools and maintained special schools. Where a local authority proposes closure, the Government has no direct role in the decision. All decisions related to school closures are taken locally. However, a robust statutory process must be followed to allow those directly affected by the proposals to feed in their comments.

The individual stages of the process are:

1. Consultation - with all interested parties;2. Publication of statutory proposals;3. Representation - allowing for comments and objections to be submitted;4. Decision; and5. Implementation

School closure is always a sensitive issue. That is why great emphasis is placed on the consultation and representation stages. It is vital that local communities affected by these decisions have the opportunity to express their views and concerns and that these are fully taken into consideration by the decision maker.

Egypt

Question

Asked by Lord Patten

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of reports that Eritrean refugees have been mistreated in the northern Sinai region of Egypt.[HL4071]

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA254

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): We remain concerned about the reports of kidnapping and mistreatment of Eritrean refugees in the Sinai. We have raised our concerns with the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on many occasions, most recently at Ambassadorial level in Cairo.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) officials have also discussed this issue with the Eritrean Embassy in London, the Eritrean government in Asmara, and last month FCO officials, along with officials from the National Crime Agency and West Yorkshire Police, met with various members of the Eritrean Diaspora in the UK. In July 2013 the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the Member for Boston and Skegness (Mr Simmonds) met with the Eritrean Foreign Minister.

Elections: Cambodia

Question

Asked by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions are taking place at European Union level on the elections that took place on 28 July in Cambodia. [HL4037]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The EU’s Asia Oceania Working Party Group discussed the Cambodian elections on 4 September 2013 and continues to follow the situation closely. Baroness Ashton issued statements on 30 July and 23 September, commending the peaceful nature of the elections but highlighting flaws in the process and calling for dialogue. The European Union Delegation in Phnom Penh regularly discusses the ongoing election dispute with both sides and with representatives from EU Member State Embassies in Phnom Penh. Baroness Ashton has also written to Sam Rainsy, leader of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) to encourage the two parties to embark on further dialogue to resolve the current political impasse.

Energy: Electricity

Question

Asked by Lord Berkeley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the security of supply of electricity in the United Kingdom if Eggborough Power Station closes; and what alternative sources of electricity are available.[HL4176]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): Although commercial decisions on the status of power plants are for operators, the Government continually monitors the outlook for security of supply, including the potential impact of power stations closures.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA255

The Government, National Grid and Ofgem are taking coordinated short and medium-term actions to ensure that, as capacity margins are likely to tighten in the middle of the decade, any risks to security of supply are minimised.

National Grid already has capacity available through the Short-Term Operating Reserve to keep the system in balance. This capacity is there as back-up in the case of unexpected events.

In addition, on 19 December Ofgem approved a request from National Grid to extend the existing system balancing tools to manage any short-term risks in the middle of the decade.

In the medium-term, Government is legislating for a Capacity Market, which will deliver capacity from 2018/19, subject to state aid clearance. This will help drive the new investments we need.

There are many different alternative sources of electricity to Eggborough. A list of operational UK power stations as at the end of May 2013 can be found in DECC's Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) Table 5.11.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electricity-chapter-5-digest-of-united-kingdom-energy-statistics-dukes

Energy: Nuclear Power Stations

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how long they expect the European Commission’s inquiry into the state aid being provided to support the building of a new nuclear power plant at Hinckley Point to take; whether the investigation is likely to delay the start of that project or affect its cost; and whether the United Kingdom will be required to take account of that report’s conclusions.[HL4193]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Baroness Verma) (Con): The European Commission announced its decision to open an investigation into the State aid case for the proposed Hinkley Point C investment contract on 18 December 2013. We welcome the investigation. The Commission's decision represents another important step forward in progression of the State aid case for Hinkley and is a standard part of the process for cases like Hinkley. We have expected an investigation for some time and have built this into our planning.

The Commission has sole competence to determine our notification for State aid approval. We are working closely with them and would look to secure a decision as soon as practicable. The UK Government will need to abide by the final decision once it is made by the Commission following the investigation.

EU: Council of Ministers

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many configurations of the European Union’s Council of Ministers currently exist; and what areas of United Kingdom policy do not have a corresponding Council of Ministers.[HL4021]

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA256

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): There are European Union Council of Ministers meetings on a range of policy areas and the Council can only deal on matters as provided for in the EU Treaties. These are: Foreign Affairs; General Affairs; Economic and Financial Affairs; Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs; Justice and Home Affairs; Competitiveness; Transport, Telecommunications and Energy; Agriculture and fisheries; Education, Youth, Culture and Sport; Foreign Affairs Council on Defence; Foreign Affairs Council on Trade. In addition the leader-level European Council meeting covers a range of priority issues

EU: Outright Monetary Transactions

Question

Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the legal basis for the European Union's Outright Monetary Transactions programme.[HL4181]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): Article 18.1 of Protocol No 4 of the Treaty, on the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and of the European Central Bank (ECB), sets out that:

“In order to achieve the objectives of the ESCB and to carry out its tasks, the ECB and the national central banks may:

• operate in the financial markets by buying and selling outright (spot and forward) or under repurchase agreement and by lending or borrowing claims and marketable instruments, whether in euro or other currencies, as well as precious metals;• conduct credit operations with credit institutions and other market participants, with lending being based on adequate collateral.”

EU: Overseas Aid

Questions

Asked by Baroness Deech

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the European Commission in respect of the recommendation of the European Court of Auditors in Special Report 14/2013 that they undertake a major review of the Pegase programme of Direct Financial Support to the Palestinian Authority.[HL4165]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): The Government does not currently plan to make representations to the European Commission. The European Court of Auditors found no evidence of corruption or mismanagement of processes and the report clearly states that robust processes are in place to ensure that funds reach the intended beneficiaries. The European Commission has already started a dialogue with the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the issue of PA staff in Gaza. The European Court of Auditors report concluded that the European

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA257

Union has succeeded in providing support to the PA in difficult circumstances. The Government fully endorses the EU’s approach to supporting the PA and notes that some of the recommendations in the report have already been implemented.

Asked by Baroness Deech

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the European Court of Auditors' recent report concerning misuse of European Union funds destined for the Gazan people through the Pegase programme.[HL4166]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble: The Government does not currently plan to make representations to the European Commission. The European Court of Auditors found no evidence of corruption or mismanagement of processes and the report clearly states that robust processes are in place to ensure that funds reach the intended beneficiaries. The European Commission has already started a dialogue with the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the issue of PA staff in Gaza. The European Court of Auditors report concluded that the European Union has succeeded in providing support to the PA in difficult circumstances. The Government fully endorses the EU’s approach to supporting the PA and notes that some of the recommendations in the report have already been implemented.

Asked by Baroness Deech

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to monitor the use of United Kingdom funds contributed to the European Union aid programme for Palestinians.[HL4167]

Baroness Northover (LD): All EU funding to Palestine is independently monitored by the European Court of Auditors. We welcome the recent Court report on the EU Direct Financial Support to the Palestinian Authority, which acknowledges that the Commission and the European External Action Service have succeeded in implementing this support in difficult circumstances, and found no evidence of corruption or mismanagement.

EU: Trade Agreements

Question

Asked by Lord Pearson of Rannoch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Livingston of Parkhead on 11 December (WA 118–19), with which countries the United Kingdom would need to sign new trade and investment agreements were the United Kingdom to leave the European Union; and what is the United Kingdom's trade balance with those countries. [HL4206]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): Were the United Kingdom to leave the European Union, it would no longer be party to the EU’s common commercial policy and therefore unable to benefit from the preferential arrangements within EU trade and investment agreements.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA258

In order to return to British companies the benefits previously enjoyed of preferential market access as negotiated for them by the EU, a future British Government would need to request the launch of bilateral negotiations with some fifty-plus countries, namely those listed in my previous answer. Moreover, market access arrangements with remaining EU countries would also need to be negotiated.

Statistics relating to the UK’s trade balance with countries are publicly available in the Office of National Statistics’ Pink Book Publication. They can be found at http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/bop/united-kingdom- balance-of-payments/2013/index.html

European Council

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the draft Council Conclusions to be put to the European Council on 19–20 December in respect of (1) co-operation on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, (2) the deployment of European Union battlegroups, (3) cybersecurity, (4) the development of a maritime security strategy, and (5) the harmonisation of defence requirements; and whether any of the measures envisaged would engage the referendum provisions of the European Union Act 2011.[HL4022]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The draft European Council Conclusions were discussed on 19-20 December in Brussels. I will update the House in January 2014 on the outcome of the European Council.

Financial Services Companies

Question

Asked by Lord Myners

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many individuals have withdrawn their applications to be controlling persons of financial services companies after being advised that they were unlikely to be approved since May 2010.[HL4152]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): This is a matter for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), as successor body to the FSA in operating the Approved Persons Regime. The FCA will reply to the Noble Lord directly by letter, a copy of which will be placed in the House Library.

Fishing: British Territorial Waters

Questions

Asked by Lord Eden of Winton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what recent action they have taken to protect fisheries in United Kingdom waters; whether they are calling for an end to bottom-trawling and the practice of discards; and which countries' fleets are fishing in British territorial waters.[HL4066]

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA259

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what evidence they have of (1) French, and (2) Spanish, fishing vessels fishing in British territorial waters; and what action they are taking to stop it.[HL4067]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): Under the reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), due to come into effect on 1 January 2014, the derogation enabling UK control over the 0 – 12 nautical mile (nm) zone around our coasts was maintained. A limited number of Member States (France, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium) retain their historic access to our 6-12nm zone and are permitted access to certain areas to catch particular species. These rights are based on historic activity, and the details of the areas and species that may be fished are set out in Annex I of Council Regulation (EC) No 2371/2002. Spanish vessels do not hold any such rights.

Records indicate that in the period 2011-2013, no French or Spanish vessels were investigated for fishing illegally inside the UK’s 6-12nm limits. The Marine Management Organisation undertakes monitoring and enforcement action on a risk basis. Due to the perceived low risk of unauthorised fishing by non-UK vessels within the UK’s 6-12nm limits, no enforcement action is targeted solely at this activity.

The new CFP also includes provisions to progressively eliminate discards, a key UK priority in the negotiations. The UK Government also strongly supports the protection of vulnerable marine ecosystems with specific measures to restrict fishing activity such as bottom-trawling in sensitive areas.

Flags

Questions

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government which flag is flown on United Kingdom government buildings in Northern Ireland; and whether there are any proposals to fly the national flag of the Republic of Ireland on those buildings.[HL4168]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): UK government departments in Northern Ireland fly the Union Flag on the designated days for the flying of the Union Flag. The Government has no proposals to fly the national flag of the Republic of Ireland.   

Asked by Lord Kilclooney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have received from Dr Richard Haass about flying the flag of the Republic of Ireland on certain buildings in Northern Ireland. [HL4169]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble: No such representations have been received.

Asked by Lord Rogan

To ask Her Majesty’s Government on what occasions and on what United Kingdom government buildings foreign flags are flown in the United Kingdom.[HL4172]

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA260

Lord Gardiner of Kimble: The flying of flags is deregulated. It is a matter for each UK Government department to determine if and on what occasions they choose to fly flags from other nations.

Fluoridation

Questions

Asked by Baroness Gardner of Parkes

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that children receive adequate treatment and instruction to protect them from developing dental disease.[HL4248]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made in the introduction of fluoridation in water systems since May 2010; and what plans they have to increase the use of fluoridation of water in the interests of dental health.[HL4249]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Public Health England (PHE) is currently developing updated guidance for health care professionals on the prevention of dental disease in the form of the third edition of the guidance document Delivering Better Oral Health. This guidance will include specific advice regarding the provision of preventative dental advice and treatment for children. PHE is also developing guidance for commissioners of oral health promotion programmes for children and young people. Both sets of guidance will be published by May 2014.

The Government’s policy remains that decisions on fluoridation should be taken locally. Between May 2010 and April 2013 decision making was exercised by National Health Service strategic health authorities and governed by regulations. Since April 2013 upper tier and unitary local authorities have the powers to make proposals to introduce, or further extend, water fluoridation schemes and undertake consultations under the Water Fluoridation (Proposals and Consultation) (England) Regulations 2013.

Tooth decay remains a public health problem. This Government therefore expects that local authorities develop plans to improve oral health and would consider water fluoridation in the context of these plans.

Gaza

Questions

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the Palestinian Authority to send assistance and fuel to Gaza. [HL4155]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): British Consulate General and Department for International Development staff have made several representations to the Palestinian Authority on the importance of finding both an immediate and long-term solution to the energy crisis in Gaza.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA261

The Permanent Under-Secretary of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Sir Simon Fraser, discussed the Gaza fuel issue with the Palestinian Prime Minister on 19 November 2013.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions they have had with (1) the government of Israel, and (2) the World Health Organisation, concerning airborne weaponry used over Gaza in the last five years since and including Operation Cast Lead, in particular in respect of its effect on the reproductive health of Gazans and unborn children.[HL4156]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble We are not aware of any recent discussions on this specific issue. However, we are unable, in the time available, to search all relevant information covering the last five years.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance are they sending to Gaza after recent severe flooding there.[HL4157]

Baroness Northover (LD): The UK already provides significant support to Gaza through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and the International Committee of the Red Cross to provide health, education and other vital services. At present our partner agencies have assessed that current emergency response mechanisms are working well, but we will monitor the situation closely for any further developments.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel concerning reports of the opening of dams at the eastern borders of Gaza, and its impact on the flooding there.[HL4158]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble: Officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised these reports with the head of the Civil Coordination Department of the Israeli Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories Office (COGAT) and were assured that there was no truth in the story.

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assistance they are giving to Gaza in respect of power and media blackouts there.[HL4159]

Baroness Northover: We are concerned by power shortages in Gaza and have been liaising closely with the UN and other agencies to ensure that measures are being taken to ameliorate the situation. We welcome recent steps taken by Palestinian, Israeli and international partners.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA262

Government Departments: Management Information Reports

Questions

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Foreign and Commonwealth Office produces monthly management information reports including indicators of performance against financial and other targets; and, if so, whether those reports are submitted to a Minister, the Permanent Secretary, or to another official.[HL3963]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) produces a range of Management Information reports on policy, corporate, and operational matters for the purposes of internal monitoring. This includes a financial report, the Key Performance Report, produced on a monthly basis. The report includes a measure of current expenditure across the Department’s budgets and contains forecasts of future spend against financial indicators. It also assesses the financial risks to the Department for the financial year. The report is submitted to the FCO’s Management Board for consideration every month to inform the Board’s decision-making. The Management Board is chaired by the Permanent Under-Secretary. The report is copied to HM Treasury for information. Separately, the FCO Supervisory Board meets quarterly and is chaired by the Foreign Secretary and attended by several Ministers and Board members. It receives and discusses a financial report prepared on the same basis as the monthly report provided to the FCO Management Board.

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stowell of Beeston on 16 December (WA 155–6), whether any performance data are collated on a daily or weekly basis for Ministers or the Permanent Secretary; and, if so, what.[HL4212]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stowell of Beeston on 16 December (WA 155–6), what key performance indicators are used to review progress against the overall performance targets and objectives of the Department.[HL4213]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): Performance reports are provided monthly and include the latest position on the input and impact indictors published in the Department’s Business Plan and the latest forecast expenditure data against limits set by Parliament. Other metrics are included from time to time as appropriate.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA263

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord De Mauley on 16 December (WA 156), whether any performance data are collated on a daily or weekly basis for Ministers or the Permanent Secretary; and, if so, what. [HL4214]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): The performance data that is supplied to Ministers and the Permanent Secretary was described in the answer to WA 156. No additional daily or weekly data is supplied.

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord De Mauley on 16 December (WA 156), what key performance indicators are used to review progress against the overall performance targets and objectives of the Department.[HL4215]

Lord De Mauley: Defra’s performance indicators are described in the Departmental business plan 2012-15: http:// transparency.number10.gov.uk/business-plan/10.

Progress is reported in the Annual Report and Accounts. The latest report for 2012/13 was published in July 2013: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/224329/defra-year-end-accounts2012-13.pdf.

A mid-year report will be published in January 2014 giving the latest position against these performance indicators.

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Tankerness on 16 December (WA 156), whether any performance data are collated on a daily or weekly basis for Ministers or the Permanent Secretary; and, if so, what.[HL4216]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): Performance data is not provided routinely to Ministers or to the official head of the Scotland Office on a daily or weekly basis.

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Tankerness on 16 December (WA 156), what key performance indicators are used to review progress against the overall performance targets and objectives of the Department.[HL4217]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble: The Scotland Office’s objectives and performance targets for 2013-14 are specified in the Annual Report of the Scotland Office and the Office of the Advocate General for 2012-13 available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/annual-report-and-accounts-2012-13--2.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA264

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 16 December (WA 156–7), whether any performance data are collated on a daily or weekly basis for Ministers or the Permanent Secretary; and, if so, what.[HL4251]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): In response to your previous question [HL4032] the Department explained that it produces a range of monthly and quarterly management information reports, and that these are provided to Ministers and the Permanent Secretary.

This question is in a similar vein, though focussing on information being provided on a weekly or daily basis. As well as providing a range of information on a monthly basis, there is also information which is provided on a more frequent basis.

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 16 December (WA 156–7), what key performance indicators are used to review progress against the overall performance targets and objectives of the Department.[HL4252]

Lord Freud: The Department for Work and Pensions uses an internal performance management framework which sets out the metrics and agreed planning assumptions the Department uses to monitor its performance. The framework provides a clear line of sight to the Department's overall strategic objectives, including its Business Plan transparency indicators, and is used alongside a number of other Departmental reporting products to inform the Executive Team’s monthly performance discussion. Data from this internal framework is then gathered and published in the Departments Annual Report and Account which provides information on expenditure and performance of the Department. The published accounts for year ending 31 March 2013 can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/department-for-work-and-pensions-annual-report-and-accounts-2012-to-2013

Government Departments: Taxis

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what expenditure was incurred on taxis ordered by the Department for Education's London headquarters in each month of 2013.[HL4226]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Department for Education cannot isolate the expenditure on taxis to particular locations or buildings. In addition to the main headquarters building (Great Smith Street), another site in Central London (Greycoat Street) is utilised, primarily by one of the Department's Executive Agencies.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA265

The Department has some taxi contracts to support business, but staff can also reclaim locally incurred taxi fares which are in line with the Department's travel policy. For completeness, both are set out below. These figures exclude spend by the Department's agencies which joined the Department in April 2012.

Table A: Total contract taxi expenditure incurred by Department for Education, excluding agencies.
MonthContract taxi spend

January 2013

£985.14

February 2013

£4,652.53

March 2013

£3,435.62

April 2013

£567.94

May 2013

£3,049.84

June 2013

£999.91

July 2013

£1,409.39

August 2013

£1,292.34

September 2013

£3,933.19

October 2013

£2,041.90

November 2013

£1,840.75

December 2013 to date

£462.60

Total

£24,671.15

Table B: Total taxi expenditure reimbursed through expense claims, excluding agencies
MonthSpend

January 2013

£6,765.35

February 2013

£8,451.83

March 2013

£15,977.19

April 2013

£7,534.92

May 2013

£13,478.31

June 2013

£11,347.90

July 2013

£10,047.96

August 2013

£6,368.40

September 2013

£7,779.55

October 2013

£10,810.99

November 2013

£9,904.08

December 2013 to date

£5,852.36

Total

£114,318.84

The total taxi spend for 2013 was, therefore, £138,990- an average monthly spend of £11,583. This is compared to an average monthly taxi spend of £20,987.64 in the last six months of the previous Government (November 2009 — April 2010).

Government Departments: Websites

Questions

Asked by Lord Brabazon of Tara

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Government Digital Service monitors daily the Google search results for (1) “European Health Insurance Card”, (2) “passport”, (3) “driving licence”, and (4) “driving test”; whether they will liaise with Transport for London about searches for “congestion charge”; and what action they will take to stop websites presenting themselves as official government sites. [HL4220]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans to make the website www.nhs.uk/ehic a gov.uk site.[HL4221]

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA266

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to instruct the website www.nhs-e111-ehic.org.uk to remove the letters "nhs" from their web address.[HL4222]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to instruct the website www.dvla-driving-licence.co.uk to remove the letters “dvla” from their web address.[HL4223]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): Officials in the Government Digital Service (GDS) are leading a cross-government exercise to gather information about the operation of third-party websites offering services associated with official government services. Reviewing the contents of adverts featured on search results pages is part of this activity but does not take place on a daily basis.

Where Government has become aware of websites make misleading claims in their advertising it has brought these complaints to the attention of the Advertising Standards Authority. Ministers are also planning to meet with Google next year to discuss its enforcement of its own terms and conditions for advertising on its search results pages.

Government has not liaised with Transport for London about third-parties offering services related to the congestion charge payment service and does not have plans to do so. There are currently no plans to migrate the NHS website and by extension the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) application service to the GOV.UK website. Government is taking action about the use of ‘dvla’ by www.dvla-driving-licence.co.uk and ‘nhs’ by www.nhs-e111-ehic.org.uk, and has successfully argued against misuse of ‘nhs’ in website addresses by the following websites: nhs-services.org.uk, nhs-direct.org.uk and nhs-cards.org.uk.

Health: Adult Social Care

Questions

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much money, at constant prices, was held in reserves at the end of each of the last five years for which information is available by (1) National Health Service Trusts, and (2) local authorities with responsibility for adult social care.[HL4127]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): National Health Service trusts (non-foundation trusts) are not funded directly by the Department – rather, they are trading bodies whose income derives mainly from commissioners via the provision of healthcare. NHS trusts have a statutory duty to ensure that revenue is not less than sufficient, taking one year with another, to meet outgoings properly chargeable to the revenue account. This is known as the “break-even duty”.

The break-even figures are an indication of financial performance in the NHS trust sector, measured against a statutory duty, as opposed to the total value of reserves reported in the Statement of Financial Position, which represents the total equity base of NHS trusts.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA267

The cumulative position reported for each of the last five financial years for all NHS trusts is provided in the following table.

The amounts reported as ‘Cash and Cash Equivalents’ in National Health Service Trust accounts is also provided in the following table.

Information in respect of local authorities with responsibility for adult social care is not collected centrally by the Department.

2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13
NHS trusts£000s£000s£000s£000s£000s

Break-even Cumulative Position

(240,387)

(12,785)

33,201

23,222

(11,669)

Cash and Cash Equivalents 1

836,779

735,187

847,583

1,161,141

1,383,372

Source:

Audited summarisation schedules of NHS trusts

Notes:

1. 2008-09 accounts were prepared using United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) rather than the currently adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Under IFRS, “cash and cash equivalents” includes short-term investments, whereas under UK GAAP these are not included.

Asked by Lord Warner

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total public expenditure on (1) adult social care, and (2) the Attendance Allowance benefit, in 2012–13 and the previous four financial years; and what is the forecast expenditure on those items for 2013–14.[HL4128]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The provision of adult social care is a devolved matter. Expenditure data on adult social care is published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre. It’s recent report, Personal Social Services Expenditure and Unit Costs - England, 2012-13, Final release (published on 10 December 2013, http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB13085) includes final data up to and including 2012/13. Annex C of this report calculates social care expenditure from all sources, including transfers from the NHS. Total net expenditure on adult social care from all source is:

Net current expenditure on adult social care (£billion, cash)
2008-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

15.09

15.74

16.08

15.55

15.35

DCLG collects budget data from councils showing how much they plan to spend on adult social care in the coming year, excluding transfers from the NHS. For 2013/14, councils plan to spend £14.65bn from their own budgets and the NHS will transfer £0.86bn for social care with a health benefit, meaning that total expenditure is expected to be £15.51bn.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA268

Expenditure on Attendance Allowance, including outturn and forecast, is published on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/benefit-expenditure-tables. The latest expenditure figures, in nominal terms, have recently been published following the Autumn Statement and will be updated shortly to include real term figures and additional breakdowns in line with previous expenditure and caseload releases.

Health: Elderly People

Question

Asked by Baroness Knight of Collingtree

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether visual impairment will be part of the vulnerable older people's plan.[HL4208]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Government's aim is to restore the link between family doctors and patients, and for general practitioners (GPs) to provide more proactive, personalised care for all.

This year our focus within the 2014-15 GP contract was patients aged 75 and over and the most vulnerable people at risk of emergency hospital admissions. In practice, we would expect GPs to provide tailored care for their patients with the most complex health needs regardless of age.

We are not specifying any particular disease or condition within the plan, rather are focussing on treating people as individuals and taking all their care needs into account.

The Government is committed to improving care for people so that they are able to enjoy an independent, fulfilling life, and have the support needed to manage their health. The changes for 2014-15 are the first step in transforming care for all people with complex needs.

Health: Human Papilloma Virus

Question

Asked by Baroness Gould of Potternewton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have undertaken an equality analysis assessment of omitting boys from the current human papilloma virus vaccination programme for girls; and if such an assessment has been completed, what were its conclusions.[HL4073]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): An equality impact assessment was completed in 2008 for the introduction of the national human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme for girls. At that time vaccination of boys for HPV was considered to be not cost effective for the prevention of cervical cancer.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the independent experts that advise Government on immunisation, is currently considering a number of key issues around HPV vaccination, including the option of vaccinating men

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA269

who have sex with men and/or adolescent boys. Once this work has been completed the Department will consider the JCVI's advice and an equality analysis will be carried out during any developmental work.

Health: Meningitis

Question

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when it is expected that the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation will have completed further research on the cost-effectiveness of treatments for group B meningitis, as announced in the minutes of their meeting of 2 October.[HL4000]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): On 2 October 2013 the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) reviewed evidence on the cost-effectiveness of the routine use of meningococcal B vaccination in the United Kingdom including information provided during a stakeholder consultation on their interim statement on the use of the meningococcal B vaccine, which was published on 24 July 2013. Following review of this evidence the committee agreed that the evidence provided necessitated further analyses. Copies of the interim statement and the update from the committee have been placed in the Library.

The JCVI asked for all additional analyses, where possible, to be completed ahead of the next meeting of the committee to be held on 11 and 12 February 2014.

Health: Mental Health

Question

Asked by Lord Patel of Bradford

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many days 16 and 17 year-olds spent in in-patient wards of adult psychiatric facilities in each financial year since April 2010.[HL4040]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Information about how many days 16 and 17 year olds spent in in-patient wards of adult psychiatric facilities in each financial year since April 2010 is given in the following table.

Number of bed days for 16 and 17 year olds spent in in-patient wards of adult psychiatric facilities1 , 2010-11-2012-13
AgeYear
2010-112011-1222012-132

16

14,794

7,622

3,263

17

41,560

11,383

7,317

1 This only includes children under 18 who have been recorded as having bed days on adult mental health wards in the Mental Health Minimum Data Set (MHMDS). The Health and Social Care Information Centre holds data on all ages of patient on adult mental health wards but does not hold data about Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

2

Data supplied covers both National Health Service providers and independent providers.

Sources:

MHMDS annual files 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13.

Health and Social Care Information Centre, Community and Mental Health Team.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA270

Health: Mesothelioma

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answer by Earl Howe on 5 December (HL Deb, col 343–5), what assessment they have made of the number of high-quality grant applications for mesothelioma research compared to the funding available; what was the basis for the Minister's statement that Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research spending on mesothelioma reached £2.2 million in 2012–13; and whether the trials of PIT (Prophylactic Irradiation of Tracts), SMART (Mesothelioma and Radiotherapy) and TIPS (The Inhaled Particles Study) to find out whether people are still being exposed to the insulating material asbestos, over two to three years, account for that amount.[HL4033]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): In my answer on 5 December (Official Report, column 344), I stated that together the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) spent more than £2.2 million on mesothelioma research in 2012-13. This investment is supporting high-quality research applications, and a breakdown of the expenditure is shown in the following table.

Category2012-13
Medical Research Council£000s

Fellowship

183

MRC Unit

1,871

TOTAL MRC

2,054

National Institute for Health Research

Biomedical research centre

9

Research for Patient Benefit programme

151

TOTAL NIHR

160

TOTAL MRC and NIHR

2,214

These figures do not include the Inhaled Particles Study (TIPS) as this is not directly funded by the MRC or the NIHR.

Through the Research for Patient Benefit programme, the NIHR spent £72,964 on the Prophylactic Irradiation of Tracts trial (PIT trial) and £78,088 on the South-West Mesothelioma and Radiotherapy trial (SMART trial) in 2012-13.

Total NIHR spend in 2012-13 was higher than shown in the table because expenditure by the NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) on mesothelioma research cannot be disaggregated from total CRN expenditure. The CRN is currently recruiting patients to eight studies in mesothelioma.

The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including mesothelioma. These applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and the NHS, value for money and scientific quality. In all disease areas, the amount of NIHR funding depends on the volume and quality of scientific activity.

7 Jan 2014 : Column WA271

Health: Mitochondrial Disease

Questions

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answers by Earl Howe on 18 November (WA 145 and 148) and 4 December (WA 48–9), whether they consider that the 10 people who would otherwise die are the same individuals as the original embryos sharing their nuclear genome that would have been destroyed in the process of replacing defective mitochondria; if so, what consideration has been given to the wider legal implications of equating identity in such a manner; and, if not, in what sense they consider that the lives of people who would otherwise die would be saved, rather than replacements being created.[HL4015]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Earl Howe on 18 November (WA 145), whether the proposed draft regulations would be restricted to terminal diseases in order to save lives.[HL4016]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The aim of allowing mitochondrial donation would be to provide an opportunity for children to be born free of serious mitochondrial disease. The Government would not regard such children as ‘replacements'.