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Written Answers to Questions
Thursday 19 January 2012
The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not keep central records of the amount spent on Christmas trees or other Christmas decorations. The CPS is a devolved organisation—with offices throughout England and Wales—and budgetary responsibility is given to local managers. To obtain the requested information would incur a disproportionate cost.
Departmental Data Protection
The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service does not allocate or record prosecution costs by offence type. These data could not be reasonably obtained locally or nationally without incurring a disproportionate cost.
The Lord's Prayer
2. Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of the teaching of the Lord's Prayer in schools in England. 
Tony Baldry: The Church of England only has information pertaining to its Church of England schools. There are around 4,700 of these schools and academies across the country, spanning both the primary and secondary sectors.
These schools are assessed on a regular basis by Ofsted and the local diocese. From the denominational inspection reports it is clear that the Lord’s Prayer is in regular use in collective worship in the majority of Church of England schools.
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Communities and Local Government
Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what receptions and events have been hosted by his Department since May 2010, including those sponsored by third parties. 
Robert Neill: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Dudley North (Ian Austin) on 3 November 2011, Official Report, column 776W, on the cost of hospitality for ministerial events. There have been no additional events or receptions hosted by Ministers since this list was published.
My Department has a series of meeting rooms that are used every day for events with external organisations, such as briefings for representatives of local government, the housing sector and the fire and rescue service.
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had recent discussions with Coventry city council on the costs of (i) organising and (ii) conducting the forthcoming referendum on directly-elected mayors. 
Greg Clark: I wrote to Coventry city council Cabinet Member, Councillor Phil Townshend, in August 2011 clearly stating that the costs of the referendum would not fall on the council, but would be met by central Government. I also recently wrote to the Council Leader, Councillor John Mutton, repeating that point.
Energy and Climate Change
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many officials in his Department are solely responsible for Overseas Territory affairs; and what the (a) job title and (b) specific responsibilities are of each such official. 
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number and proportion of full-time equivalent staff in his Department engaged in delivering (a) frontline and (b) corporate or back office services; and if he will make a statement. 
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Gregory Barker: As of 31 December 2011, the total number of civil servants working in the Department of Energy and Climate Change was 1,226 full-time equivalents. Of those, 164 were involved in providing corporate service support which includes Finance, Legal, Human Resource and Directorate Support. The remaining 1,062 people were involved in delivering DECC's key business objectives.
Mr Carswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change if he will estimate the likely change in the cost of energy generated from (a) gas and (b) electricity over the next 10 years. 
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Charles Hendry: As part of its annual emissions and energy projections DECC publishes different scenarios on wholesale and retail energy prices. The scenarios are based on a number of assumptions described in detail in DECC Updated Energy and Emissions Projections publication 2011 available at:
The following table summarises the wholesale and retail gas and electricity prices that are part of the central scenario. This incorporates the price impacts of policies that had been agreed at the time of publication, for a detailed list see Table 4.1 in the full report. However, this does not include additional policies to meet the 4(th) carbon budget that were or are still under development.
|Energy prices, central scenario (constant 2010 price base)|
|Wholesale prices||Retail (1) electricity prices||Retail (1) gas prices|
|Electricity (p/KWh) (2)||Gas (p/Therm)||Residential (p/KWh)||Services (p/KWh)||Industrial (p/KWh)||Residential (p/KWh)||Services (p/KWh)||Industrial (p/KWh)|
|(1) Retail price projections are based on projected taxes, duties and policy cost recovery and averaged historical non-fuel markups. (2) Electricity prices based on stated wholesale fossil fuel prices and central growth projection. Projected carbon price is fossil fuel price consistent. Source: DECC updated energy and emissions projections, October 2011, annex F|
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many of the regulations his Department brought into force through (a) primary legislation, (b) secondary legislation and (c) other means originated from proposals by the European Commission in (i) 2010 and (ii) 2011. 
Gregory Barker: The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) did not implement any EU law through primary legislation in 2010 or 2011. DECC also did not implement any EU law through other means than legislation in that period.
The Energy Act 2008 (Consequential Modifications) (Offshore Environmental Protection) Order 2010/1513
The Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2010/1996
The Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Licensing etc.) Regulations 2010/2221
The Justification Decision (Generation of Electricity by the EPR Nuclear Reactor) Regulations 2010/2844
The Justification Decision (Generation of Electricity by the AP1000 Nuclear Reactor) Regulations 2010/2845
The Electricity (Guarantees of Origin of Electricity Produced from Renewable Energy Sources) (Amendment) Regulations 2010/2715
The Renewables Obligation (Amendment) Order 2011/984
The Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources Regulations 2011/243
The Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) (Fees) and National Emissions Inventory Regulations 2011/727
The Aviation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Regulations 2011/765
The, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Nitrous Oxide) Regulations 2011/1506
The Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Termination of Licences) Regulations 2011/1483
The Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Access to Infrastructure) Regulations 2011/2305
The Storage of Carbon Dioxide (Amendment of the Energy Act 2008 etc.) Regulations 2011/2453
Electricity and Gas (Internal Markets) Regulations 2011/2704
The Gas Transporter (Modification of Licence Conditions) Regulations 2011/2803
Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2011/2043
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Gregory Barker: All households in Great Britain are eligible to receive support for energy efficiency measures, which can help reduce energy costs, through the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT), with people in receipt of disability living allowance eligible for assistance through a Priority Group. In addition, all those living in communities eligible for the Community Energy Saving Programme stand to benefit from energy efficiency measures.
Additional help is available through the Warm Front scheme and warm home discount for people on low incomes who have disabilities, alongside those on low incomes who are either pensioners or families with children.
In the future, all households will stand to benefit from energy efficiency improvements at no upfront cost through the Green Deal, with extra support through the Energy Company Obligation for vulnerable households on low incomes and those in properties that are difficult to improve.
National Grid: Fees and Charges
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much has been collected in national grid transmission charges from generators in (a) England, (b) Scotland and (c) Wales in the last year. 
1. Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charges meet the capital costs of building and maintaining the network and include a locational element. According to National Grid, the generator shares for the 2010-11 charging year were:
England: £216.39 million
Scotland: £146.09 million
Wales: £39.49 million.
2. Balancing Services Use of System (BSUoS) charges meet the operational costs of the network and are paid on a socialised basis. The generator share amounts to approximately £450 million per year. Figures giving an accurate geographic breakdown of BSUoS charges on generators are not available.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department holds information on the EU regulations in its policy areas of responsibility which have not been implemented in (a) France and (b) Germany; on which dates those regulations became EU law; and if she will make a statement. 
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Damian Green: The Home Office does not hold information regarding implementation of EU regulations in France or Germany. It is the responsibility of the European Commission to oversee the implementation of EU law by the member states.
Immigration Controls: Airports
Jack Dromey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the remit given to the Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency to investigate arrangements for immigration controls at UK airports during the pilot project of summer 2011 will include establishing (a) whether the suspension of some aspects of identity checks was directed at passengers of particular nationalities and if so which nationalities and (b) what consideration was given to any duty to apply immigration controls impartially and to avoid discrimination based on grounds of ethnicity or nationality. 
Institute for Public Policy Research: Finance
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department (a) allocated and (b) disbursed to the (i) Institute for Public Policy Research and (ii) National Institute for Economic and Social Research in each of the last three financial years; and what the purpose was of such funding. 
|Institute||Financial year||Amount (£)||Description/ purpose|
Ben Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will direct the Independent Police Complaints Commission to publish all documents in its possession relating to its investigation of Detective Constable John Davidson of the Metropolitan police; 
(2) what her policy is on the full disclosure of documents relating to the conduct of Detective Constable John Davidson of the Metropolitan police during the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. 
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Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to reply to the letter of 28 November 2011 from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Tayyibah Ahmed. 
Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to the public purse of running the Morton Hall immigration removal centre was in the latest period in which figures are available. 
The estimated cost to the public purse in the financial year 2011-12 is the £10,680,000 which the UK Border Agency will pay to the National Offender Management Service under the service level agreement for the running of Morton Hall immigration removal centre. The UK Border Agency will also pay £491,244 to the National Offender Management Service in 2011-12 for the start-up costs.
House of Commons Commission
Mrs Hodgson: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, what assessment the House of Commons Commission has made of the availability of fresh food and food made from fresh ingredients in (a) the Jubilee Café and (b) all food outlets on the parliamentary estate. 
John Thurso: Formal assessments of the availability of fresh food are not carried out, but the House of Commons catering service is committed to preparing homemade foods from fresh ingredients wherever possible. Seasonality is a major factor in menu design and the catering service works closely with its suppliers to secure delivery of prime products.
Food provision in the Jubilee Cafe is constrained by the lack of kitchen facilities, but salads, sandwiches and fresh fruits are bought in daily to provide healthier alternatives to the range of cakes and other snacks served.
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of frozen fish in some venues. Similarly, some frozen vegetables are served in the cafeterias.
Parliamentary Tours: Finance
Robert Flello: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much was paid to guides providing tours of Parliament in September in (a) 2009, (b) 2010 and (c) 2011; and how much income was earned from guided tours in the same period. 
John Thurso: Visitor services are a shared service between the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The figures here relate to gross costs and revenue of which the House of Commons is apportioned 70% and the House of Lords 30%.
Commercial tours operate Monday to Saturday during the summer when the House is not sitting. In the two weeks of September 2010 and 2011 when the House sat, there were no tours from Monday to Friday, but tours ran on Saturday. Blue Badge guides are provided under contract for paid tours.
|Gross revenue and guide costs, commercial opening, September 2009, 2010 and 2011 (excluding VAT)|
|Ticket revenue||Guide costs|
During September, Member-sponsored line of route tours are available, and the amount paid to guides for these tours is shown in the following table. These tours are not covered by Blue Badge guides or the related contract. The table does not include evening tours related to banqueting functions.
|Gross estimated Member-sponsored line of route tour guide costs, September 2009, 2010 and 2011|
|Members' tour guide costs (£)|
Vernon Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what discussions he has had with the Northern Ireland Executive on developing and enhancing Ulster-Scots language, heritage and culture; 
(2) what discussions he has had with the (a) Northern Ireland Executive Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure and (b) other Ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive on the introduction of an Irish Language Act for Northern Ireland. 
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Mr Paterson: I met the Northern Ireland Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure on 15 December and we discussed a number of issues relating to Irish and Ulster-Scots. The Minister of State for Northern Ireland has also met the Northern Ireland Culture Minister in recent months to discuss areas of mutual interest.
Policy relating to regional and minority languages in Northern Ireland, including the introduction of an Irish Language Act and the development of Ulster-Scots language, heritage and culture are, in the main, devolved matters for the Northern Ireland Assembly and Executive.
Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Government, (b) the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change and (c) the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the recommendations in the report commissioned by the Forestry Commission Scotland and the Scottish Government on supporting biomass electricity in the Renewables Obligation (Scotland) and on the effect of these recommendations on Government policy. 
David Mundell: The Secretary of State for Scotland, the right hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), and I are in regular contact with the Scottish Government and ministerial colleagues in the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on a range of issues including renewable energy.
Officials at DECC are considering responses to the recently closed consultation on the renewables obligation (RO) and relevant information, including the biomass electricity report prepared for Scotland and cross-Government work, to develop a UK bioenergy strategy which will set out a strategic framework for the use of bioenergy across the UK.
Mrs Villiers: Responsibility for the design approval of the Airbus A380 and its continued airworthiness rests with the European Aviation Safety Agency. The agency is currently investigating the cause of minor cracks in some A380 wings.
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(2) what consideration her Department has given to the offer of Pearson VUE to assume operational responsibility for the management and financial risks of the Driving Standards Agency's training and testing initiatives; 
Mike Penning: The Department for Transport is considering how the principles set out in the Open Public Services White Paper apply to our services, including those delivered by the Driving Standards Agency. These considerations are at an early stage, and we are in discussion with existing partners, potential new partners, and trade unions, who have all expressed an interest. A full and open consultation process would be undertaken if any firm proposals were forthcoming.
High Speed 2 Railway Line
Justine Greening: DFT Ministers have discussed the Government's proposals for high speed rail and the alternatives that were considered (as set out in the consultation document “High Speed Rail: Investing in Britain's Future”) at a range of meetings and events.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the oral statement of 10 January 2012, Official Report, columns 23-59, on High Speed Rail, what assessment she has made of the economic (a) benefits and (b) costs to the North East economy of the (i) construction and (ii) operation of High Speed 2. 
Justine Greening [holding answer 16 January 2012]:HS2 will deliver around £2 of benefits for every £1 spent, and up to £59 billion worth of benefits overall. Table 5 of the updated Economic Case for HS2 published this month provides a breakdown of benefits accrued in different regions based on where people start their trips, including the North East. These figures are based on transport user benefits only, and do not include the potential agglomeration benefits of the Y network. The updated Economic Case can be found at:
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Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons her Department did not carry out a consultation on the future of the high speed rail network before deciding on the phase one objectives contained in its remit to HS2 Ltd. 
Justine Greening: My decisions on a new high speed rail network, which I announced on 10 January 2012, Official Report, columns 9-12WS, were made following a national public consultation exercise which ran for five months in 2011. This consultation covered both the Government's strategy for a high speed rail network and the proposed route for the first phase of the network from London to the west midlands.
Justine Greening: HS2 Ltd will deliver its advice to me in March this year on the route and station options for phase 2 of the Y network (linking Birmingham with Manchester and Leeds, with intermediate stations in the east midlands and South Yorkshire). This will include analysis of the options for an east midlands station.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what cost benefit analysis her Department has undertaken in respect of the (a) potential reduction in journey times between London and Birmingham and (b) environmental effects on the Chilterns area arising from the development of High Speed 2. 
Justine Greening: Time savings for phase 1 between London and Birmingham have been valued by HS2 Ltd at £10 billion (in 2011 present values, appraised over a 60 year period), with time saving benefits for the Y-network estimated at £24.5 billion.
The Economic Case for HS2 analysed all environmental impacts associated with phase 1. The Department's standard approach was used to appraise the route between London and Birmingham, and therefore the analysis incorporated the Chilterns area.
High Speed 2 Railway Line: Civil Servants
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Justine Greening: Officials working full-time on high speed rail spent approximately 1,500 hours working on HS2 in 2009, approximately 4,600 hours in 2010 and approximately 27,000 hours in 2011. The large number of hours worked in 2011 included a substantial amount of time engaging with stakeholders and the public during the five month consultation.
High Speed 2 Railway Line: Employment
Chris White: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate she has made of the number of jobs High Speed 2 is expected to create in (a) Warwick and Leamington constituency and (b) Warwickshire. 
Justine Greening: HS2 Ltd estimate that around 9,000 jobs would be created to construct the new London-West Midlands route, with a further 1,500 permanent jobs in operations and maintenance and over 30,000 jobs in the regeneration areas associated with station developments. These figures would be significantly higher for the proposed ‘Y' shaped high speed rail network which includes links to the North East and North West.
High Speed Trains: Scotland
Justine Greening: The Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), and I have recently met representatives of the Scottish Government and discussed high speed rail.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had with the Scottish Government on the effects of plans for high speed rail on the operation of freight services in Scotland. 
Justine Greening: While there have been no specific discussions about the impact of HS2 on freight services in Scotland, the released capacity that HS2 will result in on the West Coast Main Line will create potential for increased freight services to and from Scotland. The Government will work with the Scottish Government going forward to ensure that freight and HS2 work in tandem to provide maximum benefit to the UK.
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Midland Main Line: Electrification
Mrs Villiers [holding answer 10 January 2012]: The Government support progressive electrification of the rail network in England and Wales as a way of reducing the cost of running the railways, increasing efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. We will continue to work with Network Rail to look at the case for further electrification, including of the Midland Main Line, in the next rail Control Period starting in 2014.
Mike Penning: Since 1992 responsibility for the promotion, development and operation of new motorway service areas has rested with the private sector. Consequently, neither the Department for Transport nor the Highways Agency has any input in to the naming of sites.
Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultation (a) her Department and (b) the Highways Agency undertook with (i) the relevant local authority and (ii) relevant local people on the proposed name for the motorway service area under construction between junctions 9 and 10 of the M25. 
Mike Penning: The new motorway service area between junctions 9 and 10 of the M25 near to Cobham is a privately funded development being carried out by Evergreen Extra Ltd. The Department for Transport, and the Highways Agency, has no input into the naming of the site.
Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated research on whether the proposed high speed line to Scotland should be on the west or east side of the Pennines. 
Justine Greening: As I announced to the House on 10 January 2012, Official Report, columns 9-12WS, the Government's proposals are for a Y network from London to Leeds and Manchester via the west midlands. I will receive advice from HS2 Ltd on route and station options for the Leeds and Manchester legs in March.
Railways: Metal Theft
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many incidents there have been of theft of metal from railway lines in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Vale of Glamorgan constituency in each of the last three years; 
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Norman Baker: The information is not available in the format requested. Details of the number and costs of incidents of cable theft which result in delays to the operational network are collected by Network Rail on a route basis.
|Network Rail cable theft statistics—route and national 2008-09 to date|
|Network Rail breakdown by route 2010-11|
|Route||Number of incidents||Delay minutes (1)||Compensation cost (2 ) (£)|
|Breakdown by route 2009-10|
|Route||Number of incidents||Delay minutes (1)||Compensation cost (2 ) (£)|
|Breakdown by route 2008-09|
|Route||Number of incidents||Delay minutes (1)||Compensation cost (2 ) (£)|
|Financial year||N umber of incidents (4)||Delay minutes (1)||Compensation cost (2 ) (£)||Total cost (3) (£)|
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|(1 )Delay minutes provide an indication of the scale of inconvenience experienced by passengers and vary with each incident. If the theft is on a busy mainline then they rack up much more quickly than on quieter suburban lines. (2 )Compensation costs (known as schedule 8 costs) are paid to train and freight operators for the disruption caused by the delay. This is a substantial part of the cost to the industry of cable theft but does not include the cost of staff time to repair and replace the cable, replacement cable itself and the cost of mitigation measures such as security patrols and investment in new technology. The amount of compensation paid depends on the type of services delayed. (3) Total cost comprises schedule 8 (compensation to train operators), as well as the average cost of replacement cable; average maintenance cost of attending to the fault and average opportunity cost of diverting this labour from elsewhere. This figure is available only as a national figure as it is an estimation based on averages. (4 )Number of incidents which caused delay to the operational network. It does not include thefts from depots, engineering sites or redundant cable. (5) Year to date—to end of period 5.|
|(1 )Year to date—to end of period 5.|
|Crime area name||Number of crimes (live and redundant cable)||Arrests|
Work and Pensions
Income Support: Lone Parents
Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he plans to revise his estimate that 20,000 to 25,000 lone parents will move into employment when entitlement to income support for lone parents with a youngest child aged five ends in light of the most recent data on unemployment, part time vacancies and economic growth; and if he will make a statement. 
The June 2010 Budget announced the requirement for lone parents to prepare for and seek work as a condition of receiving benefits, would be extended from those with a youngest child aged seven or over, to those with a youngest child aged five or over.
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We estimated in the recent impact assessment, ‘Conditionality Measures in the 2011 Welfare Reform Bill' that the change will help 20,000 to 25,000 extra lone parents into work in steady state, once the full impact of the proposal has been realised. This estimate is based on evidence on the difference in work entry rates between lone parents claiming income support and lone parents claiming, notably, jobseeker's allowance, where the changes can be assumed to arise directly from the change in conditionality regime. We have already included an element of caution in our estimates, as we recognise lone parents have some different characteristics to other groups on JSA.
Despite the economic downturn, there are still a large number of unfilled vacancies available, with an average of 463,000 vacancies a month in the final quarter of 2011. This snapshot does not show the dynamism of a job market in which most vacancies are filled quickly and new ones are coming up for people to move into. Jobcentre Plus alone takes an average of 10,000 new vacancies each day, and many more come up through other recruitment channels.
We expect the UK to achieve economic growth in the near future, with the Office for Budget Responsibility forecasting increasing economic growth between 2012 and 2016 in their latest ‘Economic and Fiscal Outlook' publication in November 2011.
Chris Grayling: The Welfare Reform White Paper sets out that the Department for Work and Pensions will be responsible for organising the delivery of Universal Credit. It also states that we will continue to pay housing benefit to working age customers until we can migrate them successfully on to universal credit, currently expected to be by October 2017. We have yet to settle on the precise details of how the transition will work, and the effects on housing benefits staff. However, this orderly transition will ensure that we have people with relevant skills and experience to support claimants both in work and out of work, as they migrate to the new credit.
We have formed a transition working group made up of representatives from local authorities to advise the programme of the impacts of universal credit on local authorities and we are undertaking an extensive programme of visits to individual authorities to hear about current practice, gather views and suggestions and discuss their views about the future role of local authorities under universal credit. We will continue to work with these colleagues to test new ways of working and consider how, in the longer term, we can build on the best capabilities of current organisations to provide a consistently excellent service to claimants and ensure value for money.
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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is working with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), the devolved Administrations and the local authority associations to understand the full cost impact of the introduction of universal credit.
Business, Innovation and Skills
Mr Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what the criteria are for employers to be able to receive Government funds to take on apprentices; and how many employers in each region have taken part in the scheme to date. 
Mr Hayes: The National Apprenticeship Service channels the funding to the organisation which delivers the apprenticeship training. In most cases this will be the training provider rather than an employer. Therefore to receive apprenticeship funds directly, an employer must deliver the relevant training. We have recently announced an Employer Ownership Pilot which will route up to £250 million of public investment directly to employers over the next two years. We will shortly be issuing a prospectus jointly with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) inviting proposals from employers.
In November last year, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education also announced the establishment of a new scheme which will provide up to 40,000 incentives for small employers, who are not currently engaged in the apprenticeships programme to take on apprentices aged 16 to 24. The National Apprenticeship Service is currently working up detailed eligibility criteria for the scheme, which will commence from April this year.
Departmental Data Protection
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to make votes on executive pay at annual general meetings of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange legally binding; 
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Higher Education: Admissions
Elizabeth Truss: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many and what proportion of home students in England initially enrolled on an arts or social science degree switched to a science degree in each year since 2005. 
Mr Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills when he plans to reply to the letter of 19 December 2011 from the hon. Member for Walsall North on funding for the Widening Participation Premium. 
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to increase high street trading in areas of (a) high and (b) low deprivation; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Davey: The Mary Portas Review, an independent review into the future of high streets, was published in December, setting out a series of recommendations for industry, local and central Government, business, landlords and members of the public. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has welcomed the report and is working closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government who are leading on the response, due to be published in the spring.
Royal Mail: Pensions
Ian Murray: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what support he plans to provide to Royal Mail in the event that state aid approval for the pension fund transfer is not granted; and what recent discussions he has had with Royal Mail on this issue; 
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Mr Davey: Officials continue to work with the EU commission to achieve a decision on the Royal Mail state aid case by 31 March, which will allow Government to implement its policy of relieving the pension deficit. As a matter of prudence, officials have been undertaking contingency planning in the event that this timetable is not met, and have discussed contingency planning with Royal Mail.
As Royal Mail is a private sector entity, the Royal Mail Pension Plan does not impact the public accounts. The expected impact of the transfer of liabilities and assets to Government is outlined in the Office for Budget Responsibility's Economic and Fiscal Outlook report:
Mr Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether his Department attaches any priority to provision of apprenticeships in high technology manufacturing and exporting areas including engineering, IT and science. 
Significant work is being done across Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) related sectors, for example stimulating employer engagement and raising demand for apprenticeships through a new Memorandum of Understanding between the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies (SEMTA); the development of innovative delivery models for STEM apprenticeships, and a SEMTA-led consortium of providers and employers delivering a new Advanced Manufacturing Higher Apprenticeship Framework. This is a project funded by the Higher Apprenticeship Fund, and it is noteworthy that seven out of the 19 winning bids from the recent Higher Apprenticeship Fund prospectus came from the STEM sector.
Mr Evennett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many charities based in the London borough of Bexley have been (a) added to and (b) removed from the Charity Commission register in each of the last five years. 
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I have been asked to respond to your Written Parliamentary Question on how many charities based in the London Borough of Bexley have been (a) added to and (b) removed from the Charity Commission register in each of the last five years .
The Register of Charities is able to show charities which indicate that their area of operation includes Bexley. The number of such charities added to and removed from the Register in each year is as follows:
|(a) Registered||(b) Removed|
Please note that it is not possible from the information we hold to include charities in Bexley that give their area of operation as all of London; all of England; or all of England and Wales. Furthermore, there may be additional charities in Bexley, such as those with an income of less than £5,000 per annum, which are not required to register and for which the Commission does not hold information.
Households: Greater London
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the average number of children with (a) two parents working, (b) one parent working and (c) no parents working was in (i) Poplar and Limehouse constituency, (ii) the London borough of Tower Hamlets and (iii) nationally in the latest period for which figures are available. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what is the average number of children with a) two parents working, b) one parent working and c) no parents working in i) Poplar and Limehouse constituency, ii) the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and iii) nationally in the latest period for which figures are available. 89863.
The table shows estimates for the period of January to December 2010 and are derived from the Annual Population Survey (APS). As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a margin of uncertainty as different samples give different results.
|Average number of children (1,2 ) with one, both or no parents working in Poplar and Limehouse, Tower Hamlets and England, January-December 2010—not seasonally adjusted|
|(a) Both parents working||(b) One parent working||(c) No parents working|
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|(1) Children aged 0 to 15. (2) The average is the total number of children aged 0 to 15 divided by the total number of families with children aged 0 to 15. Note: Parents of the children in this analysis live in the same household, therefore children of lone parent families can only be accounted for in columns (b) and (c). Source: ONS Annual Population Survey|
National Lottery: Bexley
Mr Evennett: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of applications to the Big Lottery Fund from organisations based in the London borough of Bexley were successful in the last three years for which figures are available. 
New Businesses: Bolton
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many new businesses have been established in Bolton since August 2010. 
Annual statistics on the number of enterprise births within a calendar year are available from the ONS release on Business Demography at:
However, these statistics are only available up to the calendar year 2010. The results for 2011 will be released on 6th December 2012.
Public Sector: Pensions
Mr Maude: The Government have engaged positively and constructively with the National Trade Union Committee (NTUC), of which PCS is a member, on reforms to the civil service scheme. The Government will continue discussions with the trade unions. Where appropriate the Government will also discuss further proposals for contribution increases to the existing scheme.
Culture, Media and Sport
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on (a) Christmas trees and (b) other Christmas decorations in 2011; and if he will make a statement. 
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Departmental Data Protection
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport whether his Department holds information on the EU regulations in its policy areas of responsibility which have not been implemented in (a) France and (b) Germany and the dates on which those regulations became EU law; and if he will make a statement. 
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effects of applying the standard rate of VAT to the provision of five-a-side football leagues on the level of participation in the sport; and if he will make a statement. 
Hugh Robertson: Neither the Department, nor Sport England, have made a specific assessment of the potential effects on levels of participation in sport by the VAT treatment of sports leagues. However, we do record participation levels in sport via the Taking Part Survey and Active People Survey which can be found at the following links:
Olympic Games 2012: Advertising
Mr Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what advertising campaigns his Department has run in support of the London 2012 Olympic Games; and what the cost was of each such campaign. 
The GREAT Campaign was developed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) while working with No. 10 and other Government partners. Launched in September 2011, it is a long-term initiative bringing together various programmes being run by different Government Departments. The initial contract with the creative communications agency Mother to work on the GREAT Campaign was for £500,000 (excluding VAT). The initial scope of work involved the development of the campaign strategy and messaging, creative design, research and testing, presentations, development of brand guidelines, and account and
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stakeholder management. DCMS invested a further £44,925.64 (excluding VAT) towards assets for the campaign. The GREAT campaign is now run centrally from the Cabinet Office.
Mr Vaizey: No assessment has been made. Ofcom has responsibility and accountability for the regulation of premium rate services under the terms of the Communications Act 2003. Ofcom has designated PhonepayPlus to deliver the day-to-day regulation of the market, by approving the PhonepayPlus Code of Practice. Regulatory strategy, scope and policy are developed in dialogue with PhonepayPlus, but final decisions rest with Ofcom.
Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the effect on gross domestic product of the release of spectrum in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands for 4G mobile services. 
Mr Vaizey: Neither the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), nor his officials have made an estimate on the effect on GDP of the release of spectrum in 800 MHz and 2600MHz. The advanced competitive mobile market will clearly be crucial to the economy. Currently, Department officials and the Shareholder Executive are in the process of commissioning work to identify major users of spectrum and the estimated value to the economy (both overall value and what is attributable to spectrum use). The values to be ascertained would be current (2011) and future (over five, ten years). The results are expected to be made available to the Department in July.
Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with Ofcom on revising the licence fees for 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum given the time taken for 4G Spectrum auction. 
Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), has had no specific meetings with Ofcom to discuss revising the licence fees at 900 and 1800MHz. Ofcom is required to amend the annual licence fees for 900MHz and 1800MHz to comply with the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 (Directions to OfCOM) Order 2010, and has set out its proposals in the recently published consultation on the auction.
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Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what estimate he has made on the potential number of jobs created as a result of the release of spectrum in the 800MHz and 2600MHz bands for 4G mobile services. 
Mr Vaizey: The Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), has made no estimate on the potential number of jobs created by releasing spectrum at 800 MHz and 2600 MHz for use by 4G services.
Andrew Percy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on the value of licence fees for 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum of the amount paid for 800MHz spectrum in the recent auction in Italy. 
Mr Vaizey: The setting of licence fees for spectrum is a matter for Ofcom, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has made no assessment of future fees. In its recently announced second consultation on the proposals for the award of 800 and 2600MHz, Ofcom has stated that its approach to setting annual licence fees will not be to rely on a single methodology and source of information. Ofcom expects to extract information from the bids in the auction using more than one methodology and use this alongside other evidence, such as the information on spectrum value that it uses to set reserve prices, and information from auctions in other countries for similar spectrum.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Iran: Mass Media
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials in his Department have had with (i) their international counterparts, (ii) the BBC World Service and (iii) the International Telecommunications Union on steps by the Iranian authorities to disrupt media services. 
EU Foreign Ministers have discussed and condemned Iranian disruption of international satellite broadcasts, most recently in October 2011 when they called on the Iranian authorities to lift all restrictions on communications immediately. Officials in my Department have had regular discussions with
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international counterparts, broadcasters and satellite owners on this issue. We have worked with international partners to raise interference with satellite broadcasts at meetings of the International Telecommunications Union. We will be pressing for farther action at the upcoming World Radiocommunications Conference.
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the compatibility of the actions by the Iranian authorities to disrupt media services with that country's obligations within the International Telecommunications Union. 
Alistair Burt: Any member of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) must abide by its constitution, which prohibits ‘harmful interference’ with communications. Satellite owners have regularly traced jamming of international satellite broadcasts to Iranian territory. So far Iran has failed to heed the calls of the international community to cease interference emanating from its territory, including instructions from the Radio Regulations Board of the ITU. We will continue to work with international counterparts to ensure this issue remains on the agenda of the ITU.
Mr Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has made an assessment of the extent to which the output of BBC Persian TV is blocked by the Iranian authorities; and what steps he is taking to bring such action to an end. 
Alistair Burt: Interference with broadcasts of BBC Persian TV and other international satellite broadcasters has intensified over the past year, and satellite owners have regularly traced such interference to Iranian territory. Such interference with satellite broadcasts is just one aspect of Iran's repeated attacks on freedom of expression and attempts to control information which include heightened censorship of the internet, the closure of at least seven national newspapers in 2011, and the regular arrest of journalists and bloggers. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), and I have worked to increase international recognition and condemnation of Iranian interference with satellite broadcasts, including by EU Foreign Ministers in October 2011 and by the UN General Assembly in December 2011. We will continue to raise the issue of jamming at the International Telecommunications Union's World Radiocommunications Conference and work with partners there for action to prevent such blocking.
Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many meetings (a) he, (b) his predecessors, (c) Ministers in his Department and (d) their predecessors have had with their North Korean counterparts in each year since 2001. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: Engagement at ministerial level in the last 10 years has been limited. The then Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister of State (Bill Rammell) visited North Korea in September 2004, where he met Foreign Minister Paek Nam Sun.
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In October 2011, the former Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Baroness Amos visited North Korea where she met North Korean Government Ministers to discuss chronic poverty, under-development and poor infrastructure.
Since opening diplomatic relations with North Korea 11 years ago, the UK has operated a policy of critical engagement at official level that offers the best possible lever for change. There is regular communication at official level between our embassy in Pyongyang and the North Korean Government and between the North Korean embassy here in London and officials in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
North Korea: Human Rights
Mr Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations his Department has made to the North Korean authorities on (a) human rights abuses, (b) forced repatriations, (c) the treatment of religious groups and (d) people held in labour camps. 
Mr Jeremy Browne: We use every opportunity to raise reported abuses of international human rights standards with the North Korean Government both through the embassy of North Korea in London and through our embassy in Pyongyang. This includes the treatment of religious groups and people held in labour camps. During a meeting last week, our ambassador in North Korea raised the UK's concerns to Vice Foreign Minister Kung Sok Ung.
We also co-sponsor annual UN resolutions (most recently in New York in November 2011) calling for the full implementation of international human rights conventions and norms and for access for the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in North Korea. A visit by the Special Rapporteur would help independently verify the reports of abuses.
Syria: Politics and Government
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the recent visit by Arab League observers to Syria; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: I have made clear our continued support for the Arab League's efforts to bring pressure to bear on the Syrian regime to stop the killing. We welcome the deployment of its observer mission to Syria on 26 December to assess Syrian implementation of the Arab League plan it agreed on 2 November. In its preliminary report to the Arab League on 8 January, the observer mission noted that despite some limited progress in reducing the military presence on the streets the violence continued. It is due to report on 19 January.
The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), made clear, most recently in a statement on 11 January, that we urge the Syrian regime
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to implement in full its commitments to the Arab League on 2 November. It must end the violence, withdraw troops from the streets, release all detainees and engage in a meaningful dialogue with opposition groups. We call again on President Assad to step down and heed the will of the Syrian people.
Treaty of Lisbon
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made consequent on the signing of the treaty of Lisbon; and if he will make a statement. 
a. The President of the European Council and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy are in office.
b. The EU External Action Service has been in operation for a year, and the High Representative sent a progress report to EU Foreign Ministers on 22 December 2011 ahead of a full-scale review in 2013. The EAS supplements and complements, but does not replace, the UK diplomatic service. The Government have made clear where they believe the EAS should and should not act, in accordance with the treaties.
c. The Judicial Appointments Panel is fully operational in issuing opinions on the nomination of appointments to the European Court of Justice. The Council Standing Committee on Internal Security, whose objective is to facilitate, promote, and strengthen co-ordination of operational actions between member states in the field of internal security, is also operational.
d. The ordinary legislative procedure (formerly known as co-decision) has been introduced in agriculture and other areas; new procedures agreed for the annual budget of the EU; an accelerated process has been agreed for fining member states in infractions cases; and a new comitology decision adopted for scrutiny by member states of the Commission's exercise of its powers in relation to implementing and delegated acts are all bedding down.
e. Decision-making on Justice and Home Affairs issues has moved from unanimity to qualified majority voting and the ordinary legislative procedure. As the UK has the right to ‘opt-in’ to decisions in this area, its effect on the UK has been limited. At the same time, qualified majority voting in the Council immediately became the norm, unless an exception was included in the treaties.
f. The EU now has a single legal personality.
g. The treaty gave legal effect to the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Charter does not create new rights and principles—it brings existing rights together in one place. The protocol of the Lisbon treaty that refers to the charter does not extend the ability of any court to find that the UK's laws and practices are inconsistent with fundamental rights that it reaffirms. The European Commission has published a strategy on the effective implementation of the charter which includes many of the principles of better regulation used in the UK.
h. Negotiations are ongoing on the terms of accession of the EU to the European convention on human rights.
i. The new procedure for national parliaments to send a reasoned opinion to the European Commission, where they consider a proposal does not uphold the principle of subsidiarity has already been used by both Houses. The Government are currently considering the recommendations of the Commons Procedure Committee on improving procedures for debates on reasoned opinions on subsidiarity.
j. This Government have, by means of the European Union Act 2011, introduced a referendum lock on the use of any of the passerelles introduced in the Lisbon treaty which transfer power
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or competence from the UK to the EU, and stronger parliamentary controls on use of all of the passerelles now in the EU treaties, including those added at Lisbon.
k. Proposals have been published by the EU institutions aimed at giving effect to the assurances given to the Irish and Czechs.
Ambulance Services: Private Sector
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what qualifications are required of staff working for private ambulance companies; and whether such staff and companies are subject to regulation. 
The 16 registration requirements reflect the essential levels of safety and quality of care that people should be able to expect, and are built around the main risks inherent in the provision of health and adult social care services.
Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 20 December 2011, Official Report, columns 1137-42W, on benzodiazepines, how many companies hold licences for the manufacture or distribution of (a) Nitrazepam, (b) Flurazepam, (c) Loprazolam, (d) Lormetazepam, (e) Temazepam, (f) Clonazepam, (g) Medazepam and (h) Midazolam; and how many of those licences were issued in the last three years. 
16 products are authorised in the United Kingdom containing nitrazepam and 16 different companies are authorised to manufacture and distribute them;
Two products are authorised in the UK containing flurazepam and one company is authorised to manufacture and distribute them;
One product is authorised in the UK containing loprazolam;
Six products are authorised in the UK containing lormetazepam and three different companies are authorised to manufacture and distribute them;
10 products are authorised in the UK containing temazepam and six different companies are authorised to manufacture and distribute them;
Nine products are authorised in the UK containing clonazepam and four different companies are authorised to manufacture and distribute them;
There are no authorised products in the UK containing medazepam; and
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23 products are authorised in the UK containing midazolam and 10 different companies are authorised to manufacture and distribute them.
There are currently 173 products authorised in the UK containing benzodiazepines. There are 46 different companies authorised to manufacture and distribute them. 11 new marketing authorisations for benzodiazepines have been authorised in the last three years. Details for each benzodiazepine have been placed in the Library.
Cancer: Young People
Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the retention of teenage and young adult cancer services within the national definitions of specialised services and the commissioning of such services by the NHS Commissioning Board. 
Paul Burstow: Subject to the passage of the Health and Social Care Bill the NHS Commissioning Board will handle the future commissioning of specialised services. This will ensure consistency in planning and funding of specialised services for the benefit of patients with rare conditions.
Public Sector: Pay
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was paid to officials in his Department and its non-departmental public bodies in (a) bonuses, (b) allowances and (c) other payments additional to basic salary in each of the last two years for which figures are available; what categories of payment may be made to officials in addition to basic salary; what the monetary value is of each category of payment; and what the monetary value was of the 20 largest such payments made in each of the last two years. 
Mr Simon Burns: The information requested for the Department and its non-departmental public bodies has been placed in the Library. The information given relates to 2010-11 and 2011-12 to 31 December 2011.
These payments are used to reward outstanding performance and behaviours in delivering the Department's agenda and do not add to future pay bill costs. For the senior civil service, the percentage of pay bill set aside for performance-related awards is based on recommendations from the independent Senior Salaries Review Body. For other grades, the Department has
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delegated authority to tailor reward packages to meet business needs and the percentage of base pay devoted to non-consolidated performance pay cannot increase in the pay freeze.
The Department has a number of other additions to base pay, including scarce skills allowances and overtime. Different allowances and payments exist in each of the Department's non-departmental public bodies.
Most of the 20 largest payments made in each of the last two years relate to Clinical Excellence Awards which recognise and reward national health service consultants and academic general practitioners who perform over and above the standard expected in their role. Awards are given for quality and excellence, acknowledging exceptional personal contributions.