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Training and Development Agency for Schools: Official Hospitality

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much was spent by the Training and Development Agency on (a) entertainment, (b) hospitality, (c) advertising and (d) outside consultancy in 2007-08. [239858]

Ed Balls: It has not proved possible to respond in the time available before Prorogation.

Training and Development Agency for Schools: Pay

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much was spent on (a) salaries and (b) bonuses for staff of the Training and Development Agency in each year since its establishment. [239854]

Jim Knight: It has not proved possible to respond in the time available before Prorogation.

Truancy

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of pupils classed as persistent truants were absent from school for more than (a) 100 sessions, (b) 150 sessions, (c) 200 sessions, (d) 250 sessions and (e) 300 sessions of school in the 2007-08 academic year. [239874]

Jim Knight: It has not proved possible to respond in the time available before Prorogation.

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of pupils have had (a) one, (b) two and (c) more than five unauthorised absences in the latest year for which figures are available. [239875]


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Jim Knight: It has not proved possible to respond in the time available before Prorogation.

Truancy: Wiltshire

Mr. Gray: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many truancies expressed in days there were in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in Wiltshire in each of the last three years. [234120]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: It has not proved possible to respond in the time available before Prorogation.

Vetting: Fees and Charges

Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether volunteers will have to pay (a) the £28 fee to cover the costs incurred by the Independent Safeguarding Authority and (b) the £36 fee to cover the costs of the Criminal Records Bureau as administrator of applications for registering with the Independent Safeguarding Authority. [236578]

Meg Hillier [holding answer 17 November 2008]: I have been asked to reply.

Individuals in paid employment will pay £64 when applying for registration with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA). The one-off application fee is composed of two elements—£28 to fund the running of the ISA and £36 to pay for Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) administration and, in most cases an Enhanced Disclosure will be included. Those involved only in unpaid voluntary activity will pay no application fee.

Vocational Training

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of people enrolled on an entry to employment programme have applied for education maintenance allowance since June 2008; and if he will make a statement. [225087]

Jim Knight: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) who operate the education maintenance allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and hold information about applications made under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the LSC's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Yeovil with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many people enrolled on an entry to employment programme have had education maintenance allowance payments delayed because of technical problems; and if he will make a statement. [225088]

Jim Knight: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) who operate the education maintenance allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and hold information about applications made under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the LSC's chief executive, has written to the hon. Member for Yeovil with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.


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Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 21 November 2008:

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many local authorities allow people enrolled on an entry to employment programme to apply for education maintenance allowance online; what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the online application process; and if he will make a statement. [225089]

Jim Knight: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) who operate the education maintenance allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and hold information about applications made under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the LSC's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Yeovil with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Young Offenders: Essex

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many first time entrants aged between 10 and 17 years to the criminal justice system there were in (a) Chelmsford local authority area and (b) Essex County Council area in each of the last five years. [238563]

Beverley Hughes: Data on the number of first time entrants to the criminal justice system are provided at the local authority level rather than at district or unitary authority level. The number of first time entrants aged 10 to 17 in Essex local authority over the last five years is outlined as follows:

Financial year Number Rate per 100,000 10 to 17-year-olds( 1)

2000-01

1,831

1,400

2001-02

1,958

1,470

2002-03

1,726

1,270

2003-04

1,836

1,340

2004-05

2,433

1,760

2005-06

2,718

1,960

2006-07

2,549

1,840

2007-08

2,844

2,040

(1) Rounded to the nearest 10.

The number and rate of first time entrants aged 10 to 17 to the criminal justice system is based on data recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC).

Youth Services: Finance

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department has allocated for the training of youth workers and social service practitioners to enable the early identification of young people at risk in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [236943]


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Beverley Hughes: It has not proved possible to respond in the time available before Prorogation.

Treasury

Bank Services

Mr. Swayne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what factors he took into consideration when deciding to (a) include deposits at Bradford and Bingley (Isle of Man) in his arrangements to transfer Bradford and Bingley deposits to Banco Santander and (b) exclude Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) deposits from his arrangements to transfer Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander deposits to ING Direct; and if he will make a statement. [233555]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 6 November 2008]: Bradford and Bingley's Isle of Man operation was a subsidiary of Bradford and Bingley plc. When the Government took Bradford and Bingley into temporary public ownership, it automatically acquired the shares in Bradford and Bingley's Isle of Man subsidiary. These were subsequently transferred to Abbey National plc.

Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander Isle of Man is a subsidiary of the Icelandic parent company, not of the UK sister company. The Treasury's powers to transfer shares in and property of a bank only applies to a UK authorised deposit taker and (to a much more limited extent) its subsidiaries. The powers do not permit the Treasury to transfer shares in or property of the subsidiary of a foreign owned bank.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what unilateral actions the UK can take to discourage the use of offshore financial centres by (a) persons domiciled in the UK for tax purposes and (b) UK-registered companies. [237712]

Mr. Timms: The Government are committed to tackling offshore tax evasion by UK tax residents, whether individuals or companies. The key objective is to ensure effective exchange of information between tax authorities.

Most of the actions taken by the Government to improve information exchange are part of multilateral initiatives, such as the OECD Harmful Tax Practices initiative and the EU savings directive.

However, the UK is also acting unilaterally. Following the success of its 2007 Offshore Disclosure Arrangements, which led to the collection of £400 million in unpaid tax, HM Revenue and Customs is continuing discussions with the banking industry with the aim of obtaining further offshore account information on UK residents.

In addition, the UK operates a tax avoidance disclosure regime, under which tax avoidance schemes must be disclosed to HM Revenue and Customs in accordance with strict rules that enable users of schemes to be identified.

Bank Services: Charities

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will include deposits by charities in Icelandic banks in any arrangements designed to secure UK deposits in such banks. [227941]


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Ian Pearson [holding answer 17 October 2008]: The Government have put in place arrangements to ensure that all FSCS-eligible depositors in the Icelandic banks of Landsbanki, Heritable and Kaupthing Singer and Friedlander will receive their money in full. If a charity is eligible to claim compensation from the financial services compensation scheme, it will be entitled to benefit from these arrangements.

Bank Services: Iceland

Adam Price: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the United Kingdom's support for an International Monetary Fund loan to Iceland is conditional on an agreement with the Icelandic authorities on deposits held in Icelandic banks by UK citizens and corporations. [236121]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 17 November 2008]: On 19 November the IMF announced the approval of a $2.1 billion two-year loan for Iceland to support an economic recovery programme to help Iceland restore confidence in its banking system and stabilise its currency. This includes Iceland's commitment to the principle of fair, equal and non-discriminatory treatment of creditors and Iceland's recognition of its obligations to depositors under its Deposit Guarantee Scheme.

Bank Services: Low Incomes

John Battle: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will require lenders to seek financial assistance from the Government or the Bank of England to provide a plan and timescale for how they intend to meet the needs of low income customers; if he will put in place a transparent reporting mechanism to measure progress against such plans; and if he will make a statement. [233109]

Ian Pearson: On 8 October this year the Government announced a comprehensive package of measures to support stability of the financial system, protect ordinary savers, depositors, businesses and borrowers, and to safeguard the interests of the taxpayer.

As part of its investment, the Government have agreed with the banks supported by the recapitalisation scheme a range of commitments. Details are available at:

These include agreements to make available affordable products during this period of global turbulence in financial markets, help individuals struggling with their mortgage payments stay in their homes and support the expansion of financial capability initiatives.

As announced in the pre-Budget report, the Government have committed a total of £80 million to a Growth Fund to expand the capacity of third sector lenders to provide affordable credit to financially excluded customers. Since July 2006, over 110,000 loans totalling over £50 million, 85 per cent. of which were to new customers, have been made to financially excluded customers through Credit Unions and Community Development Finance Institutions funded by the Growth Fund.

In addition, in December 2007, the major retail banks made a commitment to support third sector affordable credit, including actions to develop new provision in the 25 high priority areas identified by the Financial Inclusion
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Taskforce. The Government now seek to build on this commitment from the banks and ensure that clear plans are in place in each of the high priority areas.

Some households on low incomes will also be able to access affordable credit through the Social Fund. The Social Fund provides a safety net of grants and loans for the most vulnerable in times of crisis, supporting those without a stock of savings and assets to fall back on.

Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008

Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the operation of the Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008; and what recent representations he has received on the Act. [229503]

Ian Pearson: As the Chancellor explained to the House on 14 October2008, Official Report, column 694, the Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008 has provided the Government with necessary powers to maintain financial stability and to protect consumers and taxpayers during exceptional times in financial markets.

In preparing the Banking Bill as a permanent replacement to the powers in the Act that lapse in February 2009 the Government have sought to refine and develop these powers. This has involved extensive consultation with stakeholders.


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