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Written Answers

Thursday 17 July 2014

Access to Work Programme

Question

Asked by Baroness Thomas of Winchester

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what discussions have taken place between government departments on the promotion of Access to Work, including the Mental Health Support Service, to apprentices and skills providers, and to National Health Service staff.[HL887]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud) (Con): Access to Work offers Mental Health Support Service from contracted provision delivered by Remploy. Remploy promotes that provision to employers, providers and the National Health Service. Access to Work has been extended to support people on Supported Internships, Traineeships and Work experience under the Youth Contract and has made information about Access to Work available to these providers through Department for Education and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills.

Bangladesh

Question

Asked by Baroness Uddin

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to provide financial resources and support through the Department for International Development’s programmes in Bangladesh to support the victims and survivors of rapes committed during the 1971 war.[HL915]

Baroness Northover (LD): Her Majesty’s Government strongly condemns the use of rape as a weapon of war. The Foreign Secretary’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative aims to combat the use of rape as a weapon of war, to end the culture of impunity that exists for these crimes, to increase the number of perpetrators brought to account, and to provide support to survivors. We welcome Bangladesh’s endorsement in May of the Declaration of Commitment to End Sexual Violence in Conflict and their attendance at the Global Summit in June. The Declaration expresses a shared commitment and determination to see an end to the use of rape and sexual violence as weapons of war. As a result of the Summit, the Government of Bangladesh must focus on tackling impunity, increasing accountability, protecting its civilians, and helping survivors.

BBC Media Action

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much funding has been provided to BBC Media Action by the Department for International Development; whether the criteria for funding allocation include consideration of projects in closed countries with

17 July 2014 : Column WA132

least access to news; and how much has been allocated to projects seeking to reach the people of North Korea.[HL810]

Baroness Northover (LD): DFID does not have a bilateral programme with North Korea. Since 2011 DFID has provided £46.2m funding to BBC Media Action under a five year grant agreement.

The grant covers activities in eleven DFID priority countries, ten of which have been classified by ‘Freedom House’ as ‘partly free’ or ‘not free’. The criteria for country funding include the contribution to the grant’s results framework, and fit within the UK aid programme. Whilst North Korea scores extremely badly on freedom of information and media, it is not one of the countries that DFID has prioritised in terms of focusing development resources to achieve poverty reduction.

DFID funded activities have reached 130 million people across 11 countries, mainly fragile states, with TV and radio programmes that are improving knowledge about key governance and health issues.

Birds of Prey

Questions

Asked by Lord Trees

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they will respond to the recent licensing of the drug diclofenac in two Member States of the European Union; and what assessment they have made of its toxicity to vultures.[HL1051]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to trigger a European Union referral procedure for the drug diclofenac in view of its recent registration in two Member States of the European Union and its toxicity to vultures.[HL1052]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): Authorisation of a veterinary medicine involves an assessment of the benefits of a product against its risks. Potential risks include risks to the animal, to the user, the consumer and to the environment. The environmental risk is assessed to establish the extent of exposure. If the environmental exposure is not extensive, then no further assessment is required. Without exposure, there is no risk irrespective of the toxicity. If there is information in the public domain to indicate that despite low exposure there may be a potential risk, then the competent authority – the body that authorises veterinary medicines - can request a further assessment of the issues identified.

Products containing Diclofenac are a risk to vultures if there is any exposure of the birds to carcasses of animals containing residues of the veterinary medicine. The toxicity of Diclofenac to vultures is well documented. In Europe there are laws which provide for the disposal of fallen stock. The risk of exposure is therefore minimal as dead farmed animals are not left in the fields. Risk mitigation measures (instructions to the users) could be used to eliminate exposure by instructing users not to feed carcasses of animals treated with Diclofenac to vultures. This is something for the competent authorities of those Member States that have authorised

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the veterinary use of Diclofenac. The Government has no evidence that there is a serious risk to vultures posed by the authorisation of Diclofenac and therefore does not plan to trigger a referral procedure.

Broadcasting Programmes

Questions

Asked by Lord Carlile of Berriew

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what regulation exists of television programmes seeking to depict sexual violence against women as entertainment. [HL984]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their policy in relation to television programmes in the United Kingdom depicting rape as a form of torture.[HL985]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): Section 2.3 of Ofcom’s broadcasting code states that: “…broadcasters must ensure that material which may cause offence is justified by the context…such material may include, but is not limited to, offensive language, violence, sex, sexual violence, humiliation, distress, violation of human dignity, discriminatory treatment or language (for example on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, beliefs and sexual orientation)”.

In respect of ‘adult sex material’ – which contains images and/or language of a strong sexual nature, and which is broadcast primarily for the purposes of sexual arousal – this must not be broadcast at any time, other than on access-restricted services between 22.00 and 05.30. The most extreme material, equivalent to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) R-18 rating must not be broadcast at any time.

Developing Countries: Health Services

Question

Asked by Baroness Tonge

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Northover on 30 June (WA 209), what representations they have made to the World Health Organisation regarding the omission of sexual and reproductive health from its recently-published draft goal for the post-2015 development framework.[HL876]

Baroness Northover (LD): We have asked WHO to clarify their position on the inclusion of sexual and reproductive health in a Post 2015 framework. The UK supports such an inclusion.

Developing Countries: HIV Infection

Question

Asked by Baroness Gould of Potternewton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how they are addressing (1) the impact of HIV/AIDS on women in developing countries; and (2) barriers to women accessing safe sexual choices and healthcare.[HL944]

17 July 2014 : Column WA134

Baroness Northover (LD): Women and girls’ empowerment lies at the heart of the UK Government’s development agenda. Our approach to addressing the impact of HIV on women and girls and the barriers to accessing information on sexual and reproductive healthcare is set out in the UK Government’s 2011 HIV Position Paper and the recent review, “Towards Zero Infections-Two Years On” published in November 2013. For example, we are supporting the generation of new evidence to improve outcomes for women and girls, including supporting the development of female initiated HIV prevention technologies, research into how gender inequality drives epidemics and a particular focus on improving what works for adolescent girls in Southern Africa in accessing reproductive health needs.

Developing Countries: Infectious Diseases

Question

Asked by Baroness Gould of Potternewton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to support research and development into prevention methods for infectious diseases that predominantly affect developing countries; and what are their plans to address any shortfall in research and development finance for disease prevention products.[HL942]

Baroness Northover (LD): The UK Government is the second largest Government supporter of research and development for new health products for infectious diseases. In August 2013, following an open competition, funding of £138 million (for the period 2013 -2018) was announced to support the development of a range of new health technologies, including: drugs, diagnostics, microbicides, vector control and vaccines for infectious diseases that predominantly affect developing countries, such as TB, HIV, malaria, sleeping sickness and diarrhoeal diseases. Additionally, DFID funds major trials of new methods of delivery of prevention alongside the Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust, the World Health Organisation and others.

DFID works closely with others involved in product development research, including funders, to identify opportunities to address shortfalls in research funding.

Disability Aids

Questions

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what estimate they have made of the cost of producing internally at the Department of Health the report required under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 setting out the assistive technology research and development activity under way across the United Kingdom.[HL897]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the planned cost of commissioning the report required under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 setting out the assistive technology research and development activity under way across the United Kingdom; how that cost compares with their estimate of producing the report internally;

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and whether the internal report will meet the current standards in term of highlighting technology and outcomes for those with disabilities.[HL898]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what consultation they have undertaken on the issue of producing internally at the Department of Health the report required under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 setting out the assistive technology research and development activity under way across the United Kingdom.[HL899]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of producing internally at the Department of Health the report required under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 setting out the assistive technology research and development activity under way across the United Kingdom.[HL900]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what impact they consider that producing internally at the Department of Health the report required under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 setting out the assistive technology research and development activity under way across the United Kingdom will have on the identification and adoption of technology that could improve outcomes for people with disabilities and an ageing population.[HL901]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the potential impact on the adoption of technology that would allow people with disabilities to enter the workplace of producing internally at the Department of Health the report required under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 setting out the assistive technology research and development activity under way across the United Kingdom.[HL902]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of producing internally at the Department of Health the report required under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 on the quality of research into areas of innovative assistive technology and the adoption of such technology; and what measures they intend to take prevent a decrease in both research into and adoption of such technology. [HL957]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what measures they intend to take in order to ensure that the potential internal production of the report required under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 will not lead to a reduction in the quality of the report.[HL958]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the potential internal production of the report required under section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 on the identification of innovation opportunities, particularly for the manufacturing industry and small and medium-sized enterprises. [HL959]

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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): Section 22 of the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970 sets out the following requirement:

The Secretary of State shall as respects each year lay before Parliament a report on the progress made during that year in research and development work carried out by or on behalf of any Minister of the Crown in relation to equipment that might increase the range of activities and independence or well-being of disabled persons, and in particular such equipment that might improve the indoor and outdoor mobility of such persons.

In recent years the report has been produced by the Foundation for Assistive Technology, and this contract expired in June 2014. The annual cost was £72,268 (figure for final year). The contract was funded by the Department’s Policy Research Programme.

The Department has to deliver change in a climate of continuing fiscal challenge and constraint on public spending, and the approach to reporting on assistive technology research and development is aligned with this. The Department does not therefore plan to invite tenders for production of Section 22 reports from 2014-15 and will produce future reports on a smaller scale and of sufficient quality to meet the statutory requirement. This will be done in-house at no additional cost.

As the Government will continue to meet the statutory requirement, no formal consultation on Section 22 has been undertaken or planned.

Reports produced under Section 22, together with other sources of information about Government-funded assistive technology research (including published outputs, project databases, trial registers, websites and other information published by research funders and organisations carrying out research) will continue to make information available that can be used to support the identification of innovation opportunities and the identification and adoption of technology.

Education Act 1996

Question

Asked by Lord Moonie

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many prosecutions there have been under section 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996 in the last twelve months for which information is available.[HL647]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Faulks) (Con): The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates’ courts for offences under Section 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996, in England and Wales, from 2009 to 2013, can be viewed in table A below.

Defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences under Section 444(1A) of the Education Act 1996, England and Wales, 2009 to 2013(1)(2)
20092010201120122013

1,437

1,706

2,068

1,816

1,930

(1) The figures given in the table relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more

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offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Source

: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.

Electronic Government

Question

Asked by Lord Brabazon of Tara

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the answers by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 21 November 2013 (HL Deb, cols 1061–3), what progress they have made in clamping down on copycat websites that charge for services that are provided free of charge by government departments. [HL1109]

Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD): We encourage all users of public services to go to gov.uk, the official website for government information and services.

The Cabinet Office is working with Google and other search engine providers to address the problem of misleading websites advertising on their search engines. Work with other bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) and Which? continues to raise awareness of this issue and ensures action is taken where appropriate.

European Union

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the appointment of Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission, what plans they have to monitor proposals from the Commission against a criterion of whether they promote ever-closer union; and whether they will take steps to resist any such proposals should they reach the European Council or Council of Ministers.[HL880]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The noble Lord may be interested to note that the concept of ever closer union was covered in the 26/27 June European Council conclusions which stated that “the European Council noted that the concept of ever closer union allows for different paths of integration for different countries, allowing those that want to deepen integration to move ahead, while respecting the wish of those who do not want to deepen any further”. The Government will continue to engage on all legislative proposals to ensure that these are in the UK’s national interest.

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Film

Question

Asked by Lord Carlile of Berriew

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to ensure that film makers take into account the potential psychological effect of filming rape scenes on female actors.[HL986]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): Under Section 1.28 of the Ofcom broadcasting code, due care must be taken over the physical and emotional welfare and the dignity of people under eighteen, and they must not be caused unnecessary distress or anxiety by their involvement in programmes, or by the broadcast of those programmes.

For adults, employers are under a common law duty of care to take steps reasonably necessary to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all their employees, as well as complying with relevant health and safety law. There is specific guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive in respect of the legal duties owed by employers for audio-visual productions, which includes conducting risk assessments and taking control measures in respect of identified risks.

Financial Services: Fines

Question

Asked by Lord Kennedy of Southwark

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total sum of fines levied on companies in the financial services sector in each year from 2005 onwards. [HL840]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): This question has been passed on to the FCA. The FCA will reply to the Noble Lord directly by letter. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.

Folic Acid

Question

Asked by Lord Stoddart of Swindon

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have plans to consult industry to make both fortified and unfortified flour with appropriate labelling available before introducing the mandatory fortification of flour by the addition of folic acid.[HL877]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord De Mauley) (Con): Plans are currently being developed to consult on a change to the Bread and Flour Regulations. The change would permit the production of unfortified flour in the UK under certain limited circumstances where the flour is destined for use as an ingredient in further processing. This consultation will not focus on the fundamental issue of fortification. It will consider options to ensure that UK produced flour used by manufacturers is not put at a disadvantage compared to unfortified flour produced in other Member States.

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Health Ministers have yet to make a decision on mandatory fortification of flour with folic acid. They are awaiting data on the blood folate status of the population, which is expected in early 2015.

Gambling

Questions

Asked by Lord Mancroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the potential impact and application of a place of consumption tax on the online gambling market, and the ability of the Gambling Commission to meet its commitments on removing crime from that sector; and whether they will publish any such assessments.[HL990]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): The assessment of the impact of the reforms to remote gambling taxation is available in the relevant Tax Information and Impact Note published at Autumn Statement 2013, available on the Government’s website.

The Gambling Commission has a statutory duty to promote three licensing objectives, the first of which is: preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime. The Government is confident that the Gambling Commission has the tools it needs to fulfil this duty.

Asked by Lord Mancroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the conclusions of the HM Revenue and Customs report undertaken by Frontier Economics Ltd on the United Kingdom betting and gaming industry and elasticity of demand for online gaming were taken into account when developing the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014.[HL991]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble: The report ‘The UK betting and gaming market: estimating price elasticities of demand and understanding the use of promotions” was published in June 2014, after the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 had been introduced.

Asked by Lord Mancroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what work they have undertaken to quantify the costs of following the regulatory process for businesses applying for a United Kingdom gambling licence; and what assessment they have made of its impact on the competitiveness of new entrants to the online gambling sector.[HL992]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have undertaken any work to quantify the impact that the cost of regulatory compliance would have on the ability of licensed gambling operators to compete against unlicensed operators in the United Kingdom market.[HL993]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what work they have undertaken to ensure that the burden on companies applying for a gambling licence is minimised in line with their priorities to reduce red tape; and whether they considered the ability of such companies to compete against unlicensed operators in any such work.[HL994]

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Lord Gardiner of Kimble: The Gambling Commission is responsible for ensuring that the costs of applying for a Commission licence, and the regulatory burden of complying with it, are the minimum necessary to ensure compatibility with the licensing objectives.

The Commission keeps its licensing arrangements and licence conditions and codes (LCCP) under review. Recently it consulted on improved licensing processes for moving to an online licence application process, and introducing a multi-jurisdictional form to reduce the costs for applicants applying for licences in more than one jurisdiction.

In advance of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 coming into force on 1st October, the Commission has been working with operators and overseas regulators to avoid duplication and undue regulatory burden wherever possible – for example, minimising the need for operators to duplicate material or assurances that can be obtained from an operator’s host nation regulator. These consultations have enabled the Commission to take into account the impact on the relative attractiveness of operating legally in a regulated market compared to the risks of operating illegally.

Asked by Lord Mancroft

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is the estimated average number of licence applications that a single operator of a sports book, online casino, poker room or gambling software provider would need to submit in order to comply fully with Gambling Commission licensing requirements. [HL995]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble: Gambling operators can make one application to the Gambling Commission for multiple activities.

Horse Racing: Betting

Question

Asked by Lord Lipsey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Gardiner of Kimble on 3 July (WA 281), on what grounds they believe that the Horserace Betting Levy, as a state aid which predates the United Kingdom’s accession to the European Union, is therefore compatible with the United Kingdom’s obligations under European Union law and state aid rules.[HL1022]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): The Horserace Betting Levy is a State Aid pursuant to Article 107 TFEU. As a permissible pre-accession measure, it does not need to be notified to the European Commission for as long as it remains unaltered. There has been no major change to the Levy since 1963 so it retains its pre-accession status. It is for this reason that we believe the Levy is compatible with the United Kingdom’s obligations under European Union (EU) law and state aid rules. Any major change to the Levy, such as extending it to offshore remote betting operators, would constitute a substantive alteration to the existing scheme meaning that Government would have to notify the European Commission (EC). The Commission would then take a view as to the changed Levy’s compatibility with Article 107 TFEU.

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In Vitro Fertilisation

Question

Asked by Lord Alton of Liverpool

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Viscount Younger of Leckie on 28 January 2013 (WA 269), what conclusions were reached by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority’s small panel regarding assessment of the effects of pronuclear transfer on tissues with different energetic requirements or numbers of mitochondria; whether it was ultimately evaluated using stem cell lines from the reconstructed embryos or by induced pluripotent stem cells; whether the relevant findings were published in peer-reviewed journals; and, if so, which.[HL809]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has advised that the conclusions reached by the Expert Panel on this issue are outlined in its reports of April 2011, March 2013 and June 2014, which can be found on the HFEA’s website at:

www.hfea.gov.uk/6896.html

Section 4.9 of the 2014 report outlines the panel’s recommendation for research in this area and Annex B details the evidence reviewed. This can be found on the HFEA’s website at:

www.hfea.gov.uk/8807.html

International AIDS Vaccine Initiative

Question

Asked by Baroness Gould of Potternewton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much funding the Department for International Development has contributed to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative in (1) the period before 2008, and (2) the period 2008 to 2013; and how much they plan to contribute over the period 2013 to 2018.[HL943]

Baroness Northover (LD): DFID provided £38 million to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) in the period 1999 to 2008; and £40 million in the period 2008 to 2013. DFID has committed to providing £5 million to IAVI in the period 2013 -2018.

Mass Media: Ownership

Question

Asked by Lord Lipsey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they expect to publish the results of their consultation “Media ownership and plurality”, launched in July 2013.[HL1023]

Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con): We plan to publish the Government’s response to the consultation on media plurality in due course.

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National Insurance Contributions

Question

Asked by Lord Christopher

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the total National Insurance Contribution receipts paid to the National Health Service in each of the last five years to April 2014; and what proportion of the total National Insurance Contributions receipts those totals represented.[HL832]

The Commercial Secretary to the Treasury (Lord Deighton) (Con): The table below shows total NICs receipts and NHS allocation to 2012-13.

Tax YearTotal NICs receipts (bn)NHS allocation (bn)NHS allocation as proportion of total NICs receipts

2009-10

£95.5

£20.8

21.8%

2010-11

£96.5

£20.9

21.7%

2011-12

£101.6

£21.1

20.8%

2012-13

£102

£21.0

20.6%

Total National Insurance contributions receipts for the years up to 2013-14 can be found in the statistical publication HMRC tax and NICs receipts for the UK available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ hmrc-tax-and-nics-receipts-for-the-uk.

The NHS allocation from 2009-10 to 2012-13 is set out in in the National Insurance Fund Accounts available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national -insurance-fund-accounts. Accounts for 2013-14 will be available in due course.

Neurofibromatosis

Question

Asked by Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what if any financial support they are giving to the Neuro Foundation. [HL1095]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The Department does not currently provide any financial support to the Neuro Foundation.

NHS: Fees and Charges

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Warwick

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the survey by the Nuffield Trust suggesting that almost half of National Health Service managers believe that patients will be forced to pay for some services within 10 years.[HL1037]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): The principles underpinning the National Health Service, enshrined in the NHS Constitution, include that it provides a comprehensive

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service available to all based on clinical need and that NHS services are free of charge, except in limited circumstances sanctioned by Parliament.

Rising demands and continued fiscal constraint means that the NHS faces challenges in ensuring that it remains financially sustainable in the future. The Government believes that the answer to these challenges lies in changing the way services are delivered and keeping people well and independent for longer, not in altering the fundamental principles that underpin the NHS.

Offenders: Mental Illness

Question

Asked by Lord Beecham

To ask Her Majesty’s Government why the deadline for full roll-out of liaison and diversion services for offenders with mental health needs or learning disabilities has been extended from 2014 until 2017; and how many offenders will be affected by the delay.[HL940]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe) (Con): National roll-out of liaison and diversion services by NHS England will follow HM Treasury approval of a full business case. It has taken time to develop the business case and it will not be complete until 2015. This is because there is no existing evidence for the effectiveness of liaison and diversion services and this has to be developed as part of the phased roll-out of liaison and diversion services.

Information is not available about the potential number of offenders who would be affected by roll-out in 2017 instead of roll-out in 2014. Liaison and diversion services enable people entering the criminal justice system with mental health-related conditions and learning disabilities to get the right support and the best possible care as soon as possible. For offenders whose needs are not identified by a liaison and diversion service in police custody or the courts, these will continue to be identified through court procedures or at reception in prison.

Pakistan

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what was the total United Kingdom expenditure on bilateral aid for Pakistan in the last year for which figures are available; what was the United Kingdom's contribution to multilateral aid for Pakistan in the same period; and by how much expenditure is planned to increase in each of those categories over the coming three to five years.[HL895]

Baroness Northover (LD): In 2013-2014 DFID Pakistan bilateral aid expenditure was approximately £253 million, of which £18 million was spent through multilateral agencies. The 2013-14 DFID Annual report will be published on our website on 15 July, detailing our confirmed figures. Further information on centrally-managed UK aid spending delivered through multilaterals operating in Pakistan is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/statistics-on-international-development-2013.

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For 2014-2015 DFID Pakistan has been allocated £310 million. This is subject to project performance as well as continued progress with key policy reforms, including on tax. Current plans suggest that £10 million of this will be spent through multilateral agencies. For future years the resource allocation process is underway and no specific budgets have yet been agreed.

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012

Question

Asked by Lord Sharkey

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many applications there have been to date, and in the last three months, for the Secretary of State to disregard a conviction under the terms of section 92 of the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012; how many of those applications have been successful; how many are still pending resolution; how many have been refused; and of those refused what were the most common reasons for refusal.[HL704]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Taylor of Holbeach) (Con): Since the Government commenced sections 92-101, Protection of Freedoms Act on 1 October 2012, the Home Office has received applications for 185 offences from 147 individuals seeking to have their historical convictions or cautions for certain offences disregarded under these provisions.

For the last three months, from 1 April 2014, the Home Office has received applications for 23 offences from 13 individuals seeking to have their historical convictions or cautions for certain offences disregarded under these provisions.

The Home Secretary has determined that 45 offences were eligible for disregard under sections 92; 130 offences were not eligible for disregard under sections 92; there are 10 applications pending decision to date.

The most common reasons for a decision of ineligibility were either a failure to fully meet the criteria required under section 92, or that that the conviction was out of scope, as prescribed at sections 92 and 101 of the Act.

Sugar

Questions

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when a minister last met with representatives of supermarkets in respect of their encouraging suppliers to increase the number of sugar free, sugar reduced and no sugar added foods available to customers.[HL866]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): Details of all Ministerial meetings with external parties are published quarterly in arrears on the Department’s website. The latest publication which covers meetings up until December 2013 can be found on the Department’s website:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-external-meetings-2012 -to-2013?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

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Eight supermarket chains are currently signed up the Public Health Responsibility Deal calorie reduction pledge and are taking actions to enable their customers to eat and drink fewer calories.

Asked by Lord Mawhinney

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is their estimate of the proportion of foods available on supermarket shelves which are labelled (1) sugar free, (2) sugar reduced, and (3) no sugar added. [HL867]

Earl Howe: This information is not held by the Department.

Through the Public Health Responsibility Deal calorie reduction pledge, the Government encourages retailers to support and enable their customers to eat and drink fewer calories through a range of actions, which can include shifting the marketing mix towards lower calorie options.

Currently eight supermarket chains are signed up the calorie reduction pledge and are taking actions to enable their customers to eat and drink fewer calories, and ten supermarket chains are signed up to provide clear information on the front of food and drink products, including sugar content.

Syria

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to take action to ensure that essential medical and relief supplies reach people in the autonomous Kurdish cantons of north and east Syria.[HL847]

Baroness Northover (LD): In Syria and the region, UK aid is supporting food for up to 535,000 people a month and water for up to 1.5 million people. UK support to WHO will provide vulnerable Syrians with essential access to comprehensive health services. WHO

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are also supporting trauma systems, delivering essential supplies and augmenting health systems to respond to outbreaks of diseases. Across Syria the UK has already funded over 244,000 medical consultations to critically injured and sick people.

Torture

Question

Asked by Lord Hylton

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what further action they plan to take to prevent torture globally; to which countries they are giving priority; and what steps they envisage for bringing to justice those responsible, particularly in cases where British involvement is alleged.[HL977]

The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi) (Con): The British Government consistently and unreservedly condemns torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment, and it is a priority for us to combat it wherever and whenever it occurs. In my statement on 26 June to mark International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, I reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to combat torture and encourage states to ratify the Convention against Torture: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-office-marks-international-day-in-support-of-victims-of-torture-2014. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office Strategy for the Prevention of Torture, published in October 2011, further sets out our work in this field and applies globally.

The policy of the British Government is clear: we do not participate in, solicit or encourage the use of torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. We neither condone such activity, nor do we ask others to do it on our behalf. We remain committed to ensuring that any allegations of UK involvement in torture are treated seriously, examined thoroughly and can be investigated by the police with full co-operation from the British Government.