7 Apr 2014 : Column WA233

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Written Answers

Monday 7 April 2014

Agriculture: Seeds and Plants

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to support the proposed European Union regulations on the sale of seeds, plants and plant material.[HL6266]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley): The Government does not support the proposed European Union regulation on the sale of plant reproductive material as currently drafted. The future of the proposals is uncertain following rejection by the European Parliament.

Alcohol

Questions

Asked by Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether, from 6 April 2014, local trading standards officers will continue to be empowered to take direct enforcement action related to the underage sale of alcohol against any business that is part of a Primary Authority partnership, without first gaining consent from the relevant Primary Authority.[HL6258]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): The Government is committed to taking firm action against irresponsible businesses who sell alcohol to children. Trading Standards Officers play a vital role in enforcing legislation and protecting children and communities from alcohol related harm.

Where enforcement action is being considered by a local authority against a business that is in a Primary Authority partnership, there is a requirement for enforcing authorities to notify the primary authority of the proposed enforcement action. The Primary Authority will advise on whether relevant advice has been given to the business and whether the proposed action is consistent with that advice.

Primary Authority supports efficient and effective targeting of regulatory resources while helping responsible businesses to comply and grow.

Asked by Lord Avebury

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are their definitions of “ordinary cider” and “sparkling cider”; and how the duty on industrially produced white cider will be affected by the changes in the Budget.[HL6318]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the changes introduced in the Budget, what will be the minimum cost per unit of alcohol of industrially

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produced white cider with an alcohol by volume of 7.5 per cent under the recently introduced ban on selling below-cost alcohol.[HL6319]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The Alcoholic Liquor Duties Act 1979 provides a definition of cider. This can be found here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1979/4

Ordinary cider is considered to be any cider that is not sparkling cider or perry with an abv exceeding 5.5 per cent, but is less than 8.5 per cent. Budget 2014 announced that the duty on still cider and sparkling cider between 1.2 per cent and 5.5 per cent abv was frozen in cash terms this year. Sparkling cider is liable to sparkling cider duty rates if:

it is in a closed bottle with excess pressure, due to carbon dioxide, of three bars or more at 20°C, orregardless of pressure, is contained in a closed bottle with a 'mushroom shaped stopper' held in place by a tie or fastening.

'White cider' products — those made with less than 35 per cent fruit juice — are treated as made wine for duty purposes. The duty on all made wine increased by inflation on 24 March 2014. For such a product with an alcohol by volume of 7.5 per cent, the minimum cost per unit of alcohol under duty plus VAT would be 44p.

Atos Healthcare

Question

Asked by Lord Morrow

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in light of the announcement that Atos Healthcare is exiting its contract in respect of fit-for-work tests, whether they plan to initiate an investigation with published terms of reference into that company's performance, including complaints made directly to Atos Healthcare and through any other agency including the Department for Work and Pensions.[HL6467]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The Department has closely monitored the performance of Atos Healthcare and will continue to do so until Atos exits the contract as described in the Written Ministerial Statement of 27 March 2014. There are no plans to carry out any investigations into performance.

Charities

Question

Asked by Lord Harrison

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to incentivise good stewardship of assets by charities.[HL6273]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): Charity trustees have a legal duty to protect their charity’s assets and resources. The Charity Commission for England and Wales has published updated guidance on stewardship of charity assets which has been widely welcomed. As

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part of its charity law project, the Law Commission is currently considering the powers and duties of charity trustees in relation to social investment.

Children: Childcare

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that 40 per cent of two-year-olds will be able to receive free childcare by September 2014 as announced by the Deputy Prime Minister on 2 September 2013.[HL6400]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The Government is investing £525 million this year, rising to £755 million in 2014-15, in the new entitlement to early learning for two-year-olds. In February 2014 local authorities reported that over 100,000 two-year-olds were already benefitting from funded early learning places. Local authorities have received £100 million capital funding, and we are reducing bureaucracy and red tape to help support the expansion of successful providers and the creation of new places. We are encouraging more schools to provide early education places and to open from 8-6pm and are also establishing childminder agencies. These measures are part of the Government’s wider childcare reform programme which will improve the affordability and accessibility of childcare by increasing the supply of places across the country.

Children: Disabled Children

Question

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Nash on 26 March (WA 121), whether local education authorities are required to record details of children with disabilities as defined by the Equality Act 2010.[HL6385]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Local authorities have a duty to open and maintain a register of disabled children and young people under section 17 (part 1 schedule 2) of the Children Act 1989. This duty uses the Children Act definition of disability which differs from the Equality Act definition.

Asked by The Countess of Mar

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether social services departments are required to maintain a record of children with disabilities who are subject to child protection investigation under the Equality Act 2010.[HL6386]

Lord Nash (Con): Under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) Regulations 2011, local authorities are required to publish information demonstrating compliance with the public sector equalities duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. Whilst this

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information must include “information relating to persons who share a relevant protected characteristic who are affected by its policies and practices”, this does not specifically require the publication of information about children with disabilities who are subject to child protection investigations.

Local authorities are, however, required to report annually on the numbers of children in need who have a disability (as defined by section 6 of the Equality Act 2010) as part of the Children in Need Census data collection. This data is collected under section 83 of the Children Act 1989. As part of this collection, local authorities report on the number of children with disabilities who are subject to child protection investigations under section 47 of the Children Act 1989.

Children: Disadvantaged Backgrounds

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what they are doing to ensure that children from less privileged backgrounds are not disadvantaged at school. [HL6029]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): Raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils is a top priority for this Government. That is why we have invested in the pupil premium for schools, which has risen from £625 million in 2011-12 to £2.5 billion in 2014-15, giving schools the additional resources they need to raise disadvantaged pupils’ attainment, and give them a better start in life.

We have extended eligibility for funding over the last three years, as well as raising the per-pupil funding rate. When the pupil premium was introduced in April 2011, schools received £488 for each pupil who was registered for free school meals or looked after by the local authority for six months or more. From April 2014, the funding will be £1,300 per primary aged pupil, £935 per secondary aged pupil and £1,900 for each pupil who is looked after for one day or more; or who left care through adoption or a Special Guardianship Order on or after 30 December 2005, or via a Residence Order.

Headteachers are held accountable for the impact of this additional funding in three different ways. Firstly, the performance tables set out the attainment and progress of disadvantaged pupils and the gap between them and their peers. Secondly, Ofsted inspects the achievement of all pupils in a school. Where disadvantaged pupils are making insufficient progress, inspectors are likely to grade a school as requiring improvement and will recommend that the school undertakes a pupil premium review. Thirdly, schools are required to publish online how much pupil premium funding they receive, how they have used this funding and an evaluation of the impact that it has had.

Our EBacc is driving up the number of pupils leaving school with the subjects most prized by employers and universities. Already, our introduction of the EBacc has seen the number of children studying at least 5 of the essential subjects rise.

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The free schools programme is another powerful way to ensure greater opportunity for more disadvantaged children. 174 free schools are open, 45% of which were set up in the 30% most deprived areas of the country; communities often poorly served for generations.

Some of our most disadvantaged schools are seeing the improvements brought about by successful academy sponsors. 26.3% of pupils in secondary sponsored academies are eligible for free school meals, well above the national average for secondary schools of 15.1%, yet results in sponsored academies continue to improve faster than in local authority schools.

Council Tax

Question

Asked by Baroness King of Bow

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Stowell of Beeston 21 October 2013 (WA 120–1), what estimate they have made of (1) fraud, (2) claimant error, and (3) departmental error, in the payment of Council Tax Benefit in 2012–13.[HL6481]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The information requested can be found in the latest national statistics on Fraud and Error in the Benefit System: 2012 to 2013 Estimates. This report was published on 16 January 2014. The link to the report can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/271654/fraud-and-error-in-the-benefit-system-2012-13_estimates-160114.pdf

Education: Online and Distance Learning

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many students take part in (1) massive open online courses, and (2) distance courses.[HL6418]

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on students at UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The number of UK students studying for a Higher Education qualification via distance learning with a UK HEI was 226,420 in the 2012/13 academic year. A further 123,635 students based overseas (non-UK) were studying HE qualifications via distance learning with a UK HEI.

Information for the 2013/14 Academic Year will become available from the HESA in January 2015.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are free open courses independently provided by HEIs, colleges and other organisations. The Government does not collect data on the number of learners registered on MOOCs.

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Employment: Work Capability Assessments

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the value of the financial settlement paid to the Department for Work and Pensions by Atos upon their withdrawal from the Work Capability Assessment Scheme. [HL6378]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): Information regarding the financial settlement between the Department and Atos Healthcare for early exit from the contract to deliver Work Capability Assessments is commercial in confidence.

Finance: Interest Rates

Question

Asked by Lord Barnett

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether there has been a check on the average level of interest rates paid by small and medium-sized companies on overdrafts compared with the official public rate; whether there was a difference between the two rates; and, if so, what was the difference. [HL6411]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): Decisions about whether to lend to specific individuals or businesses including the rate of interest charged, remain commercial decisions for banks and building societies.

The Government is committed to supporting small and medium sized businesses and recognises their importance to the economy. Since 2010, the Government has introduced a number of schemes aimed at improving access to finance for businesses, including the creation of the British Business Bank and the introduction of the joint Government and Bank of England Funding for Lending Scheme.

Former Prime Ministers: Public Duty Cost Allowances

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 20 March, whether they will now detail which specific and itemised duties were performed by each former Prime Minister in each year that the Public Duty Costs Allowance was awarded to them.[HL6222]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): The Public Duty Cost Allowance exists as a reimbursement of incurred expenses for necessary office costs and secretarial costs

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arising from their special position in public life. The allowance is not paid to support private or parliamentary duties.

Further Education: Lincoln and the East Midlands

Questions

Asked by Lord Davies of Stamford

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the level of cuts to funding for tertiary education students aged 18 in Lincoln and the East Midlands.[HL6295]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): On 13 March we announced that we would mitigate the impact in academic year 2014/15 of the reduction in funding for 18-year-olds that we announced at the spending round in June 2013.

Without this mitigation, the reduction in funding for 18-year-olds would have led to a reduction of around 2% of total funding for 16- to 18-year-olds in the East Midlands and 3% in Lincoln.

The mitigation policy that we have just announced is to ensure that no institution will lose more than 2% of its 16- to 18-year-old funding in academic year 2014/15 as a result of the reduction in funding for 18-year-olds, and Lincoln College (the only further education college in Lincoln) will benefit from this mitigation. This will give schools and colleges more time to adapt to the change, including for those students who are already on courses.

Asked by Lord Davies of Stamford

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the number of students aged 18 who are doing Level 1 or Level 2 courses in Lincoln and in the East Midlands.[HL6296]

Lord Nash: Data for the City of Lincoln is not available.

There are 2,196 students aged 18 studying level 1 courses and 3,040 students studying level 2 courses who live in the East Midlands region.

Data is based on the 2012/13 R14 Individualised Learner Record, the latest available full year of data. Data refers to 18 year olds. This will not include any students on apprenticeship provision. Students who live in Lincoln or the East Midlands region do not necessarily study there. The numbers of students identified at each Level are based on the Notional Level of the Student’s Core Aim.

Government Departments: Budgets

Question

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the percentage cost over-run established by the management board for any budget in the Attorney

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General's Office to merit being tabled at the departmental management board; and how many times in the last 12 months that has occurred. [HL6219]

The Advocate-General for Scotland (Lord Wallace of Tankerness): The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) does not have a cost overrun established by the management board above which it merits a budget being tabled at departmental Executive Board. No overruns have been reported to the AGO Executive Board in the last 12 months.

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the percentage cost over-run established by the management board for any budget in the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation to merit being tabled at the departmental management board; and how many times in the last 12 months that has occurred.[HL6278]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills considers on a regular basis its overall financial position and financial risk through the Department's Executive Board and Performance, Finance & Risk Committee. There are no specific percentage cost over-run measures that would trigger escalation to either of these bodies.

Government Departments: Surveys

Question

Asked by Lord Mendelsohn

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what customer, user and satisfaction surveys were conducted in the last 12 months in HM Treasury and the agencies that report to it; which of them have been reported to the management board in the last 12 months; and which were commissioned by the management board.[HL6216]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): No customer, user or satisfaction surveys were reported to, or conducted by, the Treasury's Executive Management Board regarding the Treasury or its agencies in the last twelve months, other than the cross- Government annual Staff Survey.

Staff actively engage with their stakeholder groups during the usual course of their work.

Health and Nutrition

Questions

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 24 March (WA 74), whether they will consider monitoring the

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nutrition and health of children in families when benefit sanctions are imposed on a primary care-giver; and if not, why not.[HL6324]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): The Government does not collect nutrition and health data in the way described and has no plans to do so.

Claimants are expected to take reasonable steps to prepare for or find work. Safeguards are in place to ensure claimants are capable of achieving these steps, that they are appropriate to helping them towards or into work. These safeguards include claimants and their advisers agreeing what the actions will be, claimants being asked to give their reason for complying with the agreed actions before a sanction is imposed, the right to request a reconsideration of a decision and to lodge an appeal with Her Majesty's Court & Tribunal Service.

Claimants whose benefit is sanctioned can apply for hardship payments.

Asked by Lord Jopling

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 24 March (WA 74), which, if any, department investigates the issues about nutrition asked about in the original question; and whether that department will answer the original question.[HL6332]

Lord Freud: The Government does not collect nutrition and health data in the way described.

Health: Monitored Dosage Systems

Questions

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the cost to the National Health Service of pharmacists and others providing monitored dosage systems. [HL6322]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what services are provided under monitored dosage systems. [HL6323]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Equality Act 2010 requires pharmacy contractors to assess whether patients need additional support when taking medicines. In addition, NHS England can locally commission enhanced services, ‘The Care Home Service’ and ‘The Medicine Assessment and Compliance Support Service’, which

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may result in the provision of a monitored dosage system as additional support for vulnerable patients.

Funding arrangements for the community pharmacy contractual framework provides a contribution to pharmacy contractors via the practice payment for auxiliary aids provided in light of the Equality Act 2010 requirement. However, it is not possible to identify how often an auxiliary aid is provided or the nature of the auxiliary aid.

With regard to the enhanced services, these services are locally commissioned, and we do not hold data related to the cost of providing these services. However the number of services provided is outlined in the following table.

In 2012-13, pharmacy contractors provided

ServiceNumber services provided

The Care Home Service

528

The Medicine Assessment and Compliance Support Service

621

Higher Education: Degree Courses

Question

Asked by Lord Storey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many students enrolled in each of the last ten years on (1) Master’s degree courses, and (2) Doctor of Philosophy degree courses; and how many pursued both. [HL6420]

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data on student enrolments at UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). Information on the number of students enrolled in each of the last ten years on Masters and Doctorate courses at UK HEIs is provided in the table.

An accurate estimate of how many students pursued both qualifications in a ten year period is not available, however HESA data shows that in the most recent academic year, 2012/13, there were at least 33,615 Doctorate enrolments whose highest qualification on entry was a UK Masters, and 805 Doctorate enrolments whose highest qualification was a UK Doctorate.

Information on enrolments at UK HEIs for the academic year 2013/14 will become available from HESA in January 2015.

Enrolments (1) on Masters and Doctorate courses

UK Higher Education Institutions

Academic years 2003/04 to 2012/13

Level of study2003/042004/052005/062006/072007/082008/092009/102010/112011/122012/13

Masters

259,920

263,510

271,735

281,620

289,260

318,320

352,055

358,285

347,395

317,615

Doctorate

69,180

70,670

71,770

73,945

80,905

81,695

85,190

90,035

94,970

96,690

Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student RecordNotes:(1) Enrolments refers to all students in all years of study

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Hitachi

Question

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they played any role in encouraging Hitachi to relocate its rail operations to the United Kingdom; and if so, what role.[HL6246]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Viscount Younger of Leckie) (Con): The decision to relocate in the UK was Hitachi's and demonstrates a huge vote of confidence in the UK, its workers and its rail industry from one of Japan’s biggest businesses. Her Majesty's Government has strengthened relations with Hitachi through regular, whole-of-government discussions, and by providing Hitachi with a Grant for Business Investment to help them establish their Newton Aycliffe train assembly factory. We continue to work with this key UK investor as it develops its European business.

It is further testament to the Government’s industrial strategy which is giving companies worldwide the confidence to invest in the UK, creating new jobs and increasing exports that will help sustain long-term economic growth.

Housing

Questions

Asked by Lord Bradshaw

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made about the number of off-plan and readily available houses that are purchased by foreign investors.[HL6247]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston): The Department does not collect information on the number of foreign buyers of new build properties.

However, publicly available research has looked at the influence ‘international buyers’ have in the new build market in London. Savills suggest of an estimated 97,000 Greater London sales in 2012 (which includes existing property), only 750 were “prime new build sales to international second home buyers”. An estimated 3,000 were for investment in lettings, and therefore available to UK residents as tenants.

(http://pdf.euro.savills.co.uk/residential---other/spot-worldlondon-lr.pdf)

Knight Frank (October 2013) found that between 85 and 90 per cent of new build purchases in Greater London over the last two years went to UK residents. They note that “Our research points to the fact that the majority of demand for new-build property in London from overseas remains focussed on the relatively small and concentrated market made up of the central London postcodes.”

(http://resources.knightfrank.com/GetResearchResource.ashx?versionid=2017&type=1)

I would also refer the noble Lord to my reply to him of 1 April 2014, Official Report, columns WA179-180.

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Asked by Baroness Seccombe

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the amount of surplus public land sold so far to support housebuilding and development.[HL6299]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Stowell of Beeston) (Con): The Government has taken action to free up land for productive economic use. At the end of December 2013, the Public Sector Land Programme had sold surplus Government owned land capable of delivering over 68,000 homes in England as part of our ambition to dispose of surplus land with capacity for 100,000 homes by 2015. And through the recently concluded Strategic Land and Property Review the Government has identified scope to release £5 billion from its land and property between 2015 and 2020, creating opportunities for housing and economic development.The Government will look to quantify the housing and growth ambitions for this new programme by the time of the Autumn Statement.

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what confidence they have in the forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility, set out in Table D2 on page 107 of the Budget 2014 Red Book, that commercial property prices will rise by 11.9 per cent in 2013–14, after rising by 23 per cent in 2012–13 and then rising by 21 per cent in 2014–15; and whether HM Revenue and Customs will review the stamp duty land tax returns on which the 2013–14 assumption is based for possible errors in calculation.[HL6331]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The OBR is responsible for producing independent economic and fiscal forecasts. Their latest forecast was published in the March 2014 Economic and fiscal outlook, published alongside Budget 2014. Each year the OBR also publish a Forecast evaluation report that examines how their forecasts compare to subsequent outturns.

India: Golden Temple, Amritsar

Question

Asked by Lord Singh of Wimbledon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 20 March (WA 54), whether they will answer the original question asked.[HL6257]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): I refer the noble Lord to my answer of 10 March 2014 to the noble Lord Ahmed, Official Report, Column WA352. This is a matter for the Indian authorities.

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Jordan

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Jordan concerning reports of Palestinian refugees being held under harsh conditions in Cyber City refugee camp in northern Jordan.[HL6263]

Baroness Northover (LD): We are in regular contact with the Government of Jordan about refugees in Jordan, including Palestinian refugees.

Nigeria

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the number of people (1) displaced, and (2) facing a humanitarian crisis, in the northern Nigerian states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa as a result of the insurgency by Boko Haram; and what assessment they have made of the needs of those people for aid.[HL6380]

Baroness Northover (LD): The UK Government supports the assessment of humanitarian needs in Northern Nigeria through OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Although figures are difficult to quantify, OCHA estimate 5.9 million people have been affected by the insurgency in northeast Nigeria and an estimated 350,000 people have been displaced since May 2013, both within Nigeria and across the borders into Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Most displaced people are living in host communities, although around 5,000 are in camps. OCHA has assessed the priority needs of affected people as food, water, health and shelter.

Olympic Legacy

Question

Asked by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they are making in delivering the Olympic legacy following the London Olympics in 2012.[HL6589]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): Legacy activity is being taken forward in five broad areas: sport and healthy living, economic growth, East London regeneration, bringing communities together and the legacy from the Paralympics. Headline achievements in these areas include:

Sport and healthy living

£150m a year for primary school sport for the 2013-14 academic year and the following two years13% increase in funding for elite sport for the four years leading to Rio 2016, 7% for Olympic athletes and 45% Paralympians

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£1bn over four years into youth and community sport1.5m more people playing sport once a week than when we won the bid in 2005 More than 4,000 visits to school and communities by GB Olympic and Paralympic athletes have taken place since London 2012

Economy

Business tells us the Games has made a significant difference to the reason they have invested in the UK and to UK trade overseas - UKTI report they have exceeded a 4 year target of £11bn in international trade and investment after just over 1 year, on the back of  the Games and Games-time promotional activity It is estimated that the investment in the Games will result in up to £41 billion in benefit to the economy by 2020Tourist numbers have increased, now spending more than £19bn a year

East London regeneration

An accelerated process of regeneration has taken place during the past decade due to London 2012 investment Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s 8 venues, including the stadium, have long-term commercially led secured futures, bringing 11,000 homes & 10,000 jobsThe Park, including the Aquatics Centre, VeloPark and Copper Box, has re-opened and more than 500 apartments and townhouses are occupied at East Village (previously the Athletes’ Village) by families, couples, individuals and sharers. Nearby, the Sir Ludwig Guttmann Health and Wellbeing Centre, is now open with more than 800 patients registered, and Chobham Academy has been open since September 2013 with more than 700 students now attending.

Communities

Volunteering has increased, halting the steady decline seen since 2005

The legacy from the Paralympics

London 2012 broke the record for the most ever tickets sold for a Paralympic Games selling over 2.4 million tickets Over half of the population said the Paralympic Games has had a positive impact on the way they view disabled people. (53% ONS Opinion Survey March 2013)

More information about progress against the Government and Mayor of London’s legacy plans can be found in the ‘inspired by 2012’ legacy report which was published in July 2013

(https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/224148/2901179_OlympicLegacy_acc.pdf).

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Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Question

Asked by Lord Bowness

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what decisions have been made in the weekly meetings of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council and the Forum for Security Co-operation since Russia's actions in the Crimea began; and what initiatives are being taken by or proposed by the OSCE which have their support.[HL6334]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The UK has been working closely with partners within the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to harness the Organisation’s tools to contribute to de-escalating the current crisis in Ukraine. Both the Permanent Council and the Forum for Security and Cooperation have met on a number of occasions to discuss the crisis since it began, during which the UK and our partners have made strong statements deploring Russia’s actions in Crimea.

On 21 March, the OSCE Permanent Council agreed by consensus a decision to mandate a Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. The UK strongly welcomed this measure, which we hope will help make a significant contribution to de-escalate the situation. The mission has already deployed a number of staff and will gather information, report on the security situation throughout the country, and start to look at how to address the concerns of all parties. The UK will fully contribute to this mission. We have already arranged a voluntary contribution of around £445,000 towards its costs, and will also provide a contingent of expert UK nationals to its staffing roster. Since this crisis began, the UK has been calling for an impartial and independent observer mission to verify facts on the ground, and this is an important step towards doing that. We continue to express our concern at Russia’s refusal to grant the Mission access to Crimea.

In addition to the Special Monitoring Mission, the OSCE has been active in its response to the crisis and has deployed a number of other missions to Ukraine which did not require a consensus decision of the Permanent Council. These include the High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Representative on Freedom of the Media, a human rights assessment mission led by the Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), and two visits by the OSCE Chairman’s Personal Representative. A National Dialogue project to identify areas for further OSCE activities to support confidence-building between different parts of Ukrainian society deployed on 20 March. A group of unarmed military observers were also on the ground in eastern and southern Ukraine between 5 – 20 March following a request from the Ukrainian government under the Vienna Document 2011, though we regret that they were prevented from entering Crimea on a number of occasions. There has been a further such mission subsequently. ODIHR has also launched

7 Apr 2014 : Column WA248

an election observation mission to observe the Ukrainian Presidential Elections on 25 May. This mission will total 1000 observers by polling day, of which the UK will provide approximately 100.

Pakistan

Question

Asked by Baroness Berridge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their response to the death sentence imposed on Sawan Masih in Pakistan for the offence of blasphemy; and whether they have made representations to the government of Pakistan about the case.[HL6445]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): As Senior Minister of State for Faith and Communities, with a personal commitment to freedom of religious belief I am very concerned to hear about this case and the imposition of the death penalty. We regularly raise the issue of the blasphemy laws, and their misuse against both Muslims and religious minorities at the highest levels in Pakistan. We continue to encourage interfaith dialogue and support those in Pakistan who are working for reform of the blasphemy laws. I have personally had frank discussions on issues of religious freedom with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. We have also consistently pressed the government of Pakistan on the issue of the death penalty and our principled opposition to it in all cases. Our concerns about this issue are documented in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Annual Human Rights Report and quarterly updates.

Pensions

Questions

Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the estimated annual impact on the Exchequer of the tax-free lump sum withdrawal allowance from an individual's pension pot; and what estimate they have made of the impact on the Exchequer of limiting the tax-free lump sum allowance to (1) £25,000, and (2) £30,000.[HL6326]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, for 2012–13, what was the estimated impact on the Exchequer of tax relief on pension final contributions; how many individuals received it whose top rate of income tax paid was (1) 20 per cent, (2) 40 per cent, and (3) 45 per cent; and what were the estimated total amounts of tax relief given on pension fund contributions to individuals in each of those categories.[HL6327]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the detailed assumptions, including numbers of individuals, amounts withdrawn and behavioural change, for the estimated net impact on the Exchequer of the relaxation of rules governing withdrawals from pension pots contained in the Budget.[HL6328]

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Asked by Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were their assumptions about behavioural change by numbers of people buying different types of annuities, including impaired life annuities, as a result of the changes relating to annuity purchases contained in the Budget.[HL6329]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton):

i.) Estimates of the exchequer impact of the tax free lump sum for pension withdrawals or any capping of it are not available.

ii) Tax relief on pension contributions is the primary means by which the government incentivises saving for retirement. In 2012-13, the estimated gross cost of this relief was £34.8 billion which may be found in the published National Statistics produced by HMRC here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/285089/PEN6.pdf

The latest available estimates (from 2011-12) of the number of people receiving income tax deductions for their pension contributions and the value of deductions by different income levels can be found in Table 3.8 on the HMRC website at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/276037/tables3-1_3-11.pdf

iii & iv) The assumptions made around the greater flexibility afforded to pensioners at Budget 2014 — which were certified by the Office for Budget Responsibility - can be found in the 'Budget 2014: Policy Costings' document (p.11). This may be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/295067/PU1638_policy_costings_bud_2014_with_correction _slip.pdf

Prisons: HMP The Verne

Question

Asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether migrants detained in HM Prison The Verne from 24 March will have access to (1) Rule 35 procedures to determine whether their health would be damaged by detention, for example, due to a history of torture, (2) mobile telephones and the internet, (3) the ability to receive telephone calls from solicitors, family and friends, and (4) on-site legal advice surgeries; and if not, why not.[HL6241]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): HM Prison The Verne started taking immigration detainees as scheduled from 24 March 2014. The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) will retain The Verne as a prison in the short term. Its designation as a prison will be reviewed later

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this year, with the intention of completing the re-designation to an immigration removal centre by the end of September 2014.

While The Verne retains its designation as a prison it will be governed by Prison Rules rather than Detention Centre Rules. As The Verne is not governed by Detention Centre Rules, Rule 35 of those rules is not applicable.

Detainees held at The Verne will be treated in the same way as other detainees held within the prison estate. As such they will not have access to mobile telephones or the internet, nor will they be able to receive telephone calls. They will, however, be able to make telephone calls and will have access to both social and legal visits.

There is a dedicated Home Office Immigration Enforcement Team on site who will see detainees routinely on induction and upon request. In addition, independent immigration advice will be provided by Migrant Help.

Schools: Admissions

Question

Asked by Lord Ouseley

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what action is proposed to meet any shortfall in primary and secondary school places in some localities over the next five years, as predicted by the Local Government Association's analysis of the Department for Education's figures.[HL6310]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash): In December 2013 the Department for Education announced an additional £2.35 billion in basic need funding to support local authorities to create the additional places that will be needed by September 2017, in addition to the £5 billion already committed for the period 2011-15. We have also allocated £820 million in targeted basic need funding to fund an additional 74,000 high-quality places in the areas that face the most demand.

The Department allocates funding for new school places based on information provided by local authorities through an annual survey of the current capacity of schools in the area, and forecasts of future pupil numbers.

Local authorities are legally responsible for ensuring that there are sufficient school places. The Local Government Association’s report shows how effective many local authorities have been in creating new places and the Department will continue to support local authorities in doing this.

One of the recommendations of the Local Government Association’s report was for longer-term allocations. The Department wants to give local authorities as long as possible to plan their school places. This should not extend beyond a period where we have confidence in the underlying data and should allow the Department to allocate funding to reflect changes in projected population and in the number of places needed. The Department believes that three-year rolling allocations strike the right balance between these two objectives.

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Schools: Building Programme

Question

Asked by Baroness Jones of Whitchurch

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many primary school places have been created as a result of the Priority School Building Programme since its introduction.[HL6399]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): 261 schools were successful in their application to the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) and initial work has started with over 230 of these schools. Construction work has started at 24 schools and the first primary school is due to open in May 2014.

The PSBP is aimed at addressing the condition needs of those schools most in need of urgent repair; it is not a programme aimed at increasing school capacity. However, where a school is seeking to expand and this is supported by pupil planning statistics, we are increasing the capacity of the schools.

The PSBP will create approximately 9,300 new primary school places through the expansion of these schools beyond the existing capacity stated in their application forms.

This number is subject to change. As part of the feasibility study undertaken for each school, we work with the school, local authority and other stakeholders to review pupil planning statistics for the area and confirm that the size of the school being rebuilt or refurbished is sustainable and also meets any demand for pupil places where possible.

We are on track to complete all PSPB schools by the end of 2017. This is two years earlier than was planned when the programme was announced.

Schools: National Curriculum

Question

Asked by Lord Quirk

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the remark by Lord Nash on 9 July 2013 (HL Deb, col 225), that they “are focusing heavily on ensuring that teachers have the resources to deliver the new curriculum,” how they have (1) identified, and (2) supplied, the resources needed by teachers of (a) maths, and (b) English.[HL6359]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools (Lord Nash) (Con): The new national curriculum sets out very clearly what should be taught to pupils. However, it deliberately gives teachers the flexibility to decide how to teach it. We expect schools to identify the support that they need to prepare for the new curriculum, recognising that different schools will face different challenges.

The Department for Education has provided funding to teaching schools to work with their alliances and beyond, and we have been signposting schools to the range of free support that is available in English and mathematics including the resources developed by the

7 Apr 2014 : Column WA252

National Literacy Trust and the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. The sector-led expert subject groups have been providing audit tools and guidance, and publishers are bringing a variety of new materials to market.

The Government is funding a national network of around 30 Maths Hubs to drive up the quality of mathematics teachers. Each hub will be led by an outstanding school and will provide support to all schools in the area, across all areas of mathematics education. Systematic phonics has been emphasised in the teaching of early reading in the new national curriculum because evidence shows that it is the most effective way of teaching all children to begin to read. We have provided match-funding of £23 million to primary schools to purchase high quality phonics resources.

Schools: Unauthorised Absence

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to tackle unauthorised absences of pupils during term-time.[HL6373]

Lord Nash (Con): We know from evidence that pupils who have regular attendance at school are four times more likely to achieve five or more A*-C grades at GCSE including English and maths than those pupils who are persistently absent. This is why the Department for Education reduced the threshold at which pupils are classified as being persistently absent, from 20 to 15 per cent of school missed. This measure enables schools to identify earlier those pupils with troubling attendance patterns, and to do something about them.

In 2012, we increased the level of the school attendance penalty fines of £50 and £100 to £60 and £120 respectively; and in 2013 reduced the overall timescales for paying fines from 42 to 28 days. Our reforms are working. In 2012/13, 300,895 pupils were persistently absent, down from 433,130 in 2009/10. This is a fall of almost a third. 130,000 fewer pupils were missing 15% of school in 2012/13 compared to 2010/11.

Sport: Racing Right

Question

Asked by Lord Lipsey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the “racing right” canvassed in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's budget speech is expected to apply to greyhound racing and harness racing.[HL6277]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): The consultation mentioned in the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s speech will set out options for the wider reform of the Horserace Betting Levy. A horserace betting right option will not, therefore, cover Greyhound or Harness Racing.

7 Apr 2014 : Column WA253

Sudan

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what will be the agenda, and who will be present from both sides, when the Sudan Technical Working Group on External Debt meets on the fringes of the forthcoming World Bank and International Monetary Fund conference in Washington between April 11 and 13.[HL6455]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): Details of the attendees and issues discussed by the Technical Working Group (TWG) on Sudan's external debt are released by the IMF following each meeting. The UK attends as a member of the Paris Club delegation.

Information from the last TWG meeting, held on 12 October 2013, can be found on the IMF website at:

http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2013/pr13404.htm

Syria

Question

Asked by Lord Judd

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the report by UNICEF Under Siege: the devastating impact on children of three years of conflict in Syria, published in March.[HL6363]

Baroness Northover (LD): This report provides an account of the impact this most brutal and damaging conflict is having on the lives of Syrian children. DFID shares UNICEF’s concerns for the 5.5 million children who are affected by the crisis, more than double the number in March 2013. The needs of Syrian children are a major priority for the UK’s humanitarian assistance in Syria and the region.

7 Apr 2014 : Column WA254

Ukraine

Questions

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Warsi on 20 March (WA 59–60) concerning the removal from office of President Yanukovych, where the resolution of the Rada of 22 February refers to impeachment of the President.[HL6365]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): Yanukovych was not removed from power through the legal procedure of impeachment. On 21 February, agreement was reached between the then opposition leaders and Yanukovych to resolve the political crisis afflicting Ukraine by: reinstating the 2004 constitution by signing a new law within 48 hours; holding pre-term presidential elections in 2014; and conducting a comprehensive constitutional reform. However, later that day Yanukovych fled Kyiv, abandoning his office as Head of State and was therefore not in a position to fulfil the obligation he undertook to sign the law reinstating the 2004 constitution. As the Government had already been dissolved by Yanukovych, Parliament was the only legitimate state body remaining. In view of Yanukovych’s action to effectively remove himself from office, Parliament approved a bill to remove Yanukovych from power and, in line with the constitution, to appoint an interim president and to hold presidential elections within 90 days.

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they will make any financial or other assistance to Ukraine conditional upon a commitment by that country not to re-activate its nuclear weapons programme. [HL6369]

Baroness Warsi: As a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), Ukraine is legally obliged not to receive, manufacture or acquire nuclear weapons. The Government of Ukraine has stated that it has no plans to change its non-nuclear status and will continue to comply with the NPT.