18 Apr 2012 : Column 351W
Written Answers to Questions
Wednesday 18 April 2012
Expenditure: Alcoholic Drinks
Aviation: Working Hours
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Richmond Park of 15 March 2012, Official Report, column 388W, on Aviation: Working Hours, if she will make it her policy to oppose the European Aviation Safety Agency's proposals (NPA 2010 to 2014) in their current form and call for EU flight safety regulations to be harmonised with the UK's pilot flight time limitations; and if she will make a statement. 
Mrs Villiers: The Civil Aviation Authority has reviewed the latest draft of the proposals published by EASA on 18 January and has advised me that they would provide a level of safety that is broadly equivalent to that provided by the current UK rules. I am satisfied with the CAA's advice.
“you MUST NOT cycle on a pavement”
and provides a reference to the relevant legislation. The Highway Code is essential reading for road users and available from bookshops, on the Directgov website, and the DFT website also allows the public to access reminders via Twitter, Facebook, RSS, e-mail, and website widget.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 352W
Roads: Repairs and Maintenance
Norman Baker: The Department provides capital funding to local highway authorities in England for highways maintenance, which can be used on potholes. The breakdown of how much has been allocated to each local highway authority can be found at the following web links:
In addition to this, in light of the severe weather over the last three years, the Department has allocated further funding for the repair caused by winter damage. This funding was allocated as follows:
The coalition Government also recognise the need for a longer term plan. As part of the £6 million we are providing for the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme, launched last year, we also announced an initiative to assist local authorities deal with potholes on the local highway network.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 353W
Mr Gauke: The estimated cost to his Department of administering changes in child benefit for the financial year 2012-13 can be found in the Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN), which was published on HMRC's website:
Excise Duties: Fuels
Steve McCabe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the amount of revenue which will result from the proposed rise in fuel duty from August 2012; and whether his Department has made any estimate of the number of litres of fuel liable for the new rate which will be purchased between August 2012 and 31 March 2013. 
Miss Chloe Smith: Information on the fiscal effect of the Chancellor's decision to cancel the fuel duty increase that was planned for 1 August 2012 and defer the January 2012 increase to August 2012 is contained in table 2.1 of the Autumn Statement 2011. A tax information and impact note was published on the HM Revenue and Customs website, and is available online at:
Excise duty is accounted for when fuel is imported or leaves production facilities. The methodology that was followed to produce the published fiscal information is set out in the autumn statement 2011 policy costings document at:
Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of homes valued at £2 million or more that were sold in (a) Scotland, (b) each parliamentary constituency in Scotland and (c) each local authority area in Scotland in each of the last five financial years; and what the yield in stamp duty was from such sales in each of those years. 
Miss Chloe Smith: Figures for residential property purchases over £2 million in Scotland are given as follows. Figures cannot be provided at the level of the parliamentary constituency or local authority. The number of transactions at this level is regularly either zero or one, and providing this information would breach taxpayer confidentiality.
|Financial year||Number of transaction s in Scotland over £2 million in value (including transactions that claimed SDLT relief)||Total SDLT yield from transactions over £2 million in Scotland|
18 Apr 2012 : Column 354W
The Department also subscribes to the Central Office of Information's Media Monitoring Unit which provides in-depth news briefings for press officers, policy officials and Ministers across all Government Departments, the public sector and regional public bodies.
Public Sector: Construction
Some 99% of firms operating within the UK construction industry are small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and they remain an essential part of the Government's supply chains. On large or complex projects the Government's main contractors operate an integrated supply chain which will normally include SME specialist suppliers. Similarly, many of the architects, engineers and surveyors are also SMEs.
Lower value construction procurements are now advertised on a single portal: Contracts Finder. Beyond those direct opportunities, Contracts Finder is now able to also accommodate opportunities for SMEs to work for main contractors that do not already have a complete supply chain in place when awarded Government contracts.
The Government have introduced measures to reduce what can be prohibitive bid costs for SMEs, by simplifying the arrangements for pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) so that such questions follow a standardised form and, for procurements below £100,000, Government have now removed the need for PQQs altogether.
Public Sector: Pay
Rachel Reeves: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to the answer of 8 March 2012, Official Report, column 893W, on the public sector: pay, in those cases where the pay approved was higher than the previous postholder, what the estimated additional annual cost was resulting from the approved increases in the salary range; 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 355W
pay, whether he has approved 15 salaries or 38 salaries which are higher than the previous salary in cases where there was a comparable previous postholder; 
(3) pursuant to the answers of 8 March 2012, Official Report, columns 893-4W, on the public sector: pay, if he will confirm that the cost of the 106 roles where there was no previous postholder is around £7 million per annum; 
(4) pursuant to the answers of 23 February 2012, Official Report, column 929 and 8 March 2012, Official Report, columns 893-4W, on the public sector: pay, if he will list the job titles for the 106 posts where there was no previous postholder; and what salary ranges were approved for these posts. 
In 69 of these cases the salaries approved were at an equal or lower range to that of the previous postholder, and 12 of these cases were approved at a higher salary. In addition, two cases were approved at a salary range that could have been equal or higher to that of the previous postholder, and four at a salary range that could have been lower, equal or higher than that of the previous postholder.
I can clarify that I have approved a salary range for 101 cases where there was no previous postholder, accounting for around £14 million of annual spending. I apologise that my previous answer of 8 March 2012, Official Report, columns 893-94, gave the figure at £7 million.
It would not be appropriate to reveal the details of discussions around individual salaries. However, the Cabinet Office publishes annually the data of senior officials in departments, agencies and NDPBs earning over £150,000. The latest data were provided on 2 August 2011 and is available on the Cabinet Office website at:
Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the effects on the overall taxation burden on the bingo industry of the planned introduction of Machine Games Duty at 20 per cent; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Sittingbourne and Sheppey of 15 March 2012, Official Report, column 359W, on taxation: bingo, when he will be able to assess the detailed tax impact on the bingo industry of the planned introduction of machine games duty at 20 per cent. 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 356W
Miss Chloe Smith: The assessment of the impact of machine games duty (MGD) on individuals and businesses is available in the relevant Tax Information and Impacts Note published at Budget 2012. This document is accessible online at:
Margaret Curran: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much revenue was raised in Scotland from (a) stamp duty land tax and (b) landfill tax in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Receipts data are not available for landfill tax revenue raised in Scotland, as landfill operators send in returns that cover sites throughout the UK. However, the Office for Budget Responsibility recently published an occasional paper, “Forecasting Scottish Taxes”, which included estimates of the Scottish share of landfill tax receipts. The document is available online at:
Mr Bain: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate his Department has made of the number of people in (a) Scotland, (b) each parliamentary constituency in Scotland and (c) each local authority area in Scotland who will be required to complete a self-assessment form to continue to receive child benefit in the three financial years from 2013-14. 
Mr Gauke: In 2013-14, we estimate that approximately 30,000 households in Scotland that are eligible for child benefit will have an individual with an income between £50,000 and £60,000 per year, and therefore will only keep a portion of their child benefit.
Culture, Media and Sport
Diamond Jubilee 2012
Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport who determines the eligibility criteria for the Queen's jubilee medal; and if consideration was given to making it available to personnel who were serving in the armed forces when Her Majesty ascended the throne. 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 357W
Hugh Robertson: The eligibility criteria for the diamond jubilee medal were agreed across Government and received Royal Assent. All agreed that with the exception of Victoria and George Cross holders, the diamond jubilee medal should only be awarded to members of the armed forces serving on 6 February 2012 and who have completed five years service.
Nuisance Telephone Calls
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on bringing forward legislative proposals to reduce the number of nuisance telephone calls. 
Mr Vaizey: Discussions of this nature have not been held. Consumers are protected from unsolicited marketing calls through the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The TPS is a free service provided under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR). The regulations do not allow unsolicited marketing calls to be made to a TPS registered recipient, or if they have previously advised that calls should not be made to them. The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) enforces the TPS and considers complaints about breaches. The ICO can issue a fine of up to £500,000 for the most serious breaches of the PECR. The Department is exploring possible improvements to the TPS, which would ensure that TPS registered consumers remain effectively protected. Consumers are able to comment on any aspects, which concern them, through the forthcoming Green Paper.
The Prime Minister: My visit to Burma was not a trade mission, but an opportunity for me to see the progress that has been made over the last year and to give my support to the process of reform. Business representatives who accompanied me had all been on an earlier part of the visit, which was trade-related. They had no contact with the Burmese Government and participated in a purely cultural programme. I have placed a list in the Libraries of both Houses.
The Prime Minister:
In December 2011, I announced funding for a new cross-government drive to tackle 120,000 troubled families to be led by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my right hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr Pickles), and with Louise Casey as the head of the Troubled Families Team. Work is under way in central and local government and the voluntary and community sector to turn around the lives of these families in terms
18 Apr 2012 : Column 358W
of education, their involvement in crime and antisocial behaviour, and getting their parents on the road back to work.
Michael Moore: We are continuing to reduce the deficit, and to focus on measures to promote growth. Cutting corporation tax, introducing the £1 billion youth contract, and the national loan guarantee scheme are important examples of the steps we are taking.
14. Jim Sheridan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations he has received from employers and organisations representing them in Scotland on the need to review employment legislation. 
David Mundell: Scotland Office Ministers meet employers and employees representatives on a regular basis. We are committed to creating the right conditions for economic prosperity in Scotland, including the need to remove barriers to growth and job creation without compromising fairness for employees.
Independence: Intergovernmental Discussions
Michael Moore: I regularly engage with the Scottish Government on a range of issues. The UK Government want to facilitate a legal, fair and decisive referendum and I will be discussing the findings of our consultation with the Scottish Government to agree how to devolve the process to the Scottish Parliament to enable a referendum to take place.
Criminal Injuries Compensation
Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for Justice on the effect in Scotland of his proposals to alter the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. 
The Secretary of State for Scotland, my right hon. Friend the Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), and I are in regular contact with Ministry of Justice Ministers on a range of matters. In respect of Scotland, Criminal Injuries Compensation is devolved. The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice, my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke), has been in contact with the Scottish Government's
18 Apr 2012 : Column 359W
Cabinet Secretary for Justice on the reform of the scheme, which currently applies across England, Scotland and Wales.
Employment Schemes: Young People
Mr Bain: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the number of people who will participate in the Youth Contract in (a) Scotland, (b) each parliamentary constituency in Scotland and (c) each local authority area in Scotland in each of the next three financial years. 
David Mundell: The Youth Contract, which was launched earlier this month, will provide nearly half-a-million new opportunities for young people throughout Britain over the next three years. Take-up by businesses of wage incentives, work experience places and apprenticeships will depend on the level of need and demand in different locations, and no estimate has been made of the distribution of places from this package of measures by individual region, constituency or local authority area.
As a result of this initiative, the Scottish Government will receive Barnett consequentials for those aspects of the Youth Contract which relate to increasing opportunities for apprenticeships and young people not in education, employment or training.
Counterfeit Manufacturing: Euro
Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with reference to EU Council Decision 2001/887/JHA of 6 December 2001, on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting, what organisation serves as the UK's national analysis centre for counterfeit euro (a) notes and (b) coins; and on how many occasions that organisation has communicated the results of its analysis to Europol in accordance with Article 3 of the Council Decision in each of the last 10 years. 
James Brokenshire [holding answer 14 March 2012]: The National Analysis Centre (NAC) for euro notes is the Bank of England. The Coin National Analysis Centre (CNAC) for euro coins is at the UK National Central Office (NCO) for the Suppression of Counterfeit Currency, within SOCA. The results of analysis of counterfeit euro currency are submitted to the European Central Bank's Counterfeit Monitoring System (CMS). Europol has access to this database and can review the results instantaneously. The NAC routinely submits analysis and information on discovered euro banknotes to the CMS. To date CNAC has not dealt with any cases of detected counterfeit euro coins and has not, therefore, communicated any analysis results to Europol via the CMS.
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many times the police have (a) searched and (b) matched a DNA profile on the international DNA database in each of the last three years. 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 360W
Office of Surveillance Commissioners: Public Appointments
Mr Meacher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who has been appointed to the Office of Surveillance Commissioner since its inception; when each such person was appointed; and what functions they carry out. 
James Brokenshire: Sir Andrew Leggatt was the first chief surveillance commissioner from 1 July 1998 and Sir Christopher Rose, who succeeded him, was appointed from 1 July 2006. The functions of the chief surveillance commissioner are set out in Part III of the Police Act 1997 and Part IV of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000. They are to keep under review the exercise and performance of certain powers and duties under those Acts and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000. These relate to property interference, covert surveillance, covert human intelligence sources and decryption of protected electronic information by all public authorities apart from the intelligence agencies. The chief surveillance commissioner also scrutinises and decides whether to approve authorisations for intrusive surveillance and certain kinds of property interference.
Part III of the Police Act 1997 and Part IV of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 provides for the appointment of commissioners, assistant commissioners and other staff to help him discharge his functions. Details of all staff appointed to the Office of Surveillance Commissioners are given in Annexes to the chief surveillance commissioner's annual report, copies of which are laid before the House and are available in the House Library.
Youth Offending Teams
Jessica Morden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the percentage change is in the funding which she plans to allocate to youth offending service budgets in (a) Wales and (b) Newport in 2012-13. 
James Brokenshire: The total Home Office contribution to Wales for youth crime and substance misuse prevention work was £965,514 in 2011-12 compared to £914,759 for 2012-13, which represents a reduction of £50,755 or 5.3%. The 2012-13 figure comprised £527,272 to Welsh youth offending teams via the Youth Justice Board and £387,487 which the Home Office is providing directly to all Welsh police authorities.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 361W
authority to determine with all the local youth offending teams and other partners in the area how this funding is best spent in order to maximise the prevention outcomes locally and also maintain continuity of service provision.
Energy and Climate Change
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate he has made of the number of claimants to the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease scheme who have died before receiving compensation in each (a) nation and (b) parliamentary constituency. 
The Department also received a similar question from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford) on 19 January 2011, Official Report, columns 780-81W, and I refer to the answer provided then as there has been no significant change:
|Claimant country (1)||Number of claimants who died before receiving compensation as at 16 January 2011|
|(1 )Based on parliamentary constituencies as at 2008|
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average award made through the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease scheme has been since the scheme's inception. 
Charles Hendry: The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease scheme was closed by the Court in December 2010, at which point only a small number of claims remained to be settled which would have no material impact on the average award levels across the scheme.
The Department also received a similar question from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford) on 18 January 2011, Official Report, column 737W, and I refer to the answer provided then as there has been no significant change:
18 Apr 2012 : Column 362W
Of the 591,768 claims made by the deadline to register a claim in March 2004, 454,686 have been settled by payment and the average award of this cohort was £5,360. Once Compensation Recovery Unit payments are taken into account, the average payment was £5,210. The settlement bandings for those claims that have been settled via the main claims-handling scheme (i.e. excluding those that have settled via Entry of Judgment(1) in England and Wales or the Unaccepted Offers Protocol (UOP) in Scotland or without going through the full medical process nor the Fast Track Scheme) are:
|Main scheme settlement bandings||Live||Widow||Estate||Total|
(1) Entry Of Judgment claims were those where the claimant did not accept the compensation offer but the Judge overseeing the British Coal Respiratory Disease Litigation ruled that the award should be made and the claim closed. The Unaccepted Offers Protocol was the Scottish equivalent of this arrangement.
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the average length of time for the settlement of claims relating to the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease scheme has been since the scheme's inception. 
Charles Hendry: The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease scheme was closed by the Court in December 2010, at which point only a small number of claims remained to be settled which would have no material impact on the overall averages across the schemes.
The Department also received a similar question from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford) on 18 January 2011, Official Report, columns 737-9W, and I refer to the answer provided then as there has been no significant change:
Given the scale of the compensation scheme and the wide range of issues that effected claims progression it is not possible to produce a fully meaningful average figure. However, the following table provides a profile for the 591,677 claims settled to date. 82% of claims were settled within five years. It should be noted that this includes claims denied, withdrawn and struck out, as well as those claims settled by payment:
|Settlement timing profile||Claim registration to date of settlement|
18 Apr 2012 : Column 363W
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what the cost to the public purse has been of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease scheme in each year since its inception. 
Charles Hendry: The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease scheme was closed by the Court in December 2010, at which point only a small number of claims remained to be settled with only minimal residual administrative costs associated with them.
As at 31 October 2010, these costs amounted to £715 million since April 1999 in relation to the administration of the Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Vibration White Finger Compensation Schemes and other coal health related claims.
|(1) Please note that information for this period cannot be. broken down by year.|
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the expected levelised costs of electricity generated at Hinckley Point C; and what the minimum level of Government support under the carbon price support and the contract for difference is that EDF Energy has stated the project will need to be economically viable. 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 364W
Charles Hendry: The Government have made no specific estimate of the expected levelised cost of electricity generated at Hinkley Point C. EDF Energy has not stipulated a minimum level of support under the carbon price support or a contract for difference to make the project economically viable. Nuclear New Build Generation Company, the consortium including EDF which own the Hinkley site, has indicated that its key issues for the contract for difference include the contract term, risk allocation, strike price and financeability.
In recent years the Government have commissioned several studies of the costs of different generation technologies to inform policy decisions. The most recent information about nuclear generation costs can be found in a report by PB Power (2011)(1) which is available on the DECC website.
Charles Hendry: The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the right hon. Member for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr Davey), expects that all Contract for Difference (CfD) strike prices will be made public, including strike prices for any new nuclear power stations.
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the contribution by the Secretary of State of 11 January 2012, Official Report, column 263, how many consumers switched energy supplier between 17 October 2011 and 31 March 2012. 
Charles Hendry: Data on switching are published quarterly in DECC's Quarterly Energy Prices publication, from data provided by Ofgem. The latest data on switching were published on 29 March 2012, and represent quarter 4 of 2011, (October to December).
However, we have considered the impact of drought conditions on electricity generation and last year the Association of Electricity Producers (AEP) conducted a review that looked at the impact of a nationwide drought.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 365W
“..individual electricity generators may be impacted where they rely on abstracting cooling water in affected areas however this is unlikely to affect electricity supply as this may be met by an alternative supplier and balanced nationally”.
Gas-fired Power Stations: Carbon Emissions
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what conditions on carbon emissions will be included in the emissions performance standard for new gas-fired power stations. 
Charles Hendry: We have announced that the Emissions Performance Standard will set an annual limit on emissions from new fossil fuel plant equivalent to 450g/kWh of CO2 at baseload. At this level it will require any new coal plant to limit their emissions while not deterring investment in new gas plant that will be required as we make the transition to low carbon.
Green Deal Scheme
We recognise that air tightness testing can be a useful means of engaging with consumers by providing information, such as on the effectiveness of certain energy efficiency improvements made, at a cost. However, as air tightness testing does not generate energy savings, it cannot qualify for Green Deal finance.
Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what estimate his Department has made of the volume of methane escaping to the atmosphere from the Elgin Field; and what the warming potential of this is in carbon dioxide equivalent. 
Charles Hendry: The estimates provided by Total, based on formation data and modelling, indicate that the release rate is approximately 2 kg of gas per second, equivalent to approximately 200,000 m(3) per day, and that the release is predominantly methane.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 366W
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what discussions he has had with the European Commission on whether the revenue support for new nuclear under his proposals for electricity market reform will receive state aid clearance. 
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential effects on the cost of capital reduction for renewable energy projects following the introduction of contract for difference under electricity market reform of the Government not acting as the counterparty for the contracts with electricity generators. 
Charles Hendry: DECC's assessment of the costs of capital benefits of the contract for difference were first published in the EMR consultation document in December 2010. This assessment was subsequently validated in the EMR White Paper published in July 2011. This assessment of the costs of capital impacts was based on removing the volatility in the revenue streams from plant supported by the contract for difference rather than the nature of the counterparty. We understand the importance of a bankable CFD contract and we are working with industry to ensure that the payment model for the contracts for difference provides them with the required level of certainty. We will set out more detail on the proposed model in a draft CFD Operational Framework this spring.
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many (a) civil servants and (b) senior civil servants have retired from his Department since May 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Warm Front Scheme
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 20 January 2012, Official Report, column 1002W, on the Warm Front scheme, what his policy is on any under spend in the budget allocated to the Warm Front scheme in 2011-12. 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 367W
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the adequacy and reliability of the supply of dysprosium and neodymium for the manufacture of wind turbines and electric vehicles. 
Charles Hendry: The use of rare earth metals such as dysprosium and neodymium is almost non-existent in commercial scale wind turbines in this country. Therefore, no such assessments are carried out at present.
Democratic Republic of Congo
Tom Blenkinsop: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much funding his Department has provided for aid and development projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the last three years; and what steps his Department is taking to promote and protect human rights when providing funding to projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 
|Financial year||Total UK aid||DFID (share of UK total)|
|Source: Statistics on International Development 2011, October 2011|
In 2011-12 the Department for International Development (DFID) provided £142 million in aid for the DRC through its bilateral programme. (Figures are not yet available for funding through global initiative and other UK Government Departments).
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office leads on human rights issues in the DRC. The British embassy in Kinshasa works closely with the UN mission to increase the international community's understanding of the human rights situation. It works closely with its EU counterparts to co-ordinate lobbying on human rights issues. The UK Missions to the UN in New York and to the Human Rights Council in Geneva work with international partners to ensure continued focus on the human rights situation in DRC, and the UK has pressed for the DRC to remain on the agenda at the UN Human Rights Council.
DFID aims to improve the human rights situation in the DRC through its programmes. For instance, DFID is investing in promoting police reform with a specific focus on respect for human rights, and it expects to reach at least 12,000 victims of sexual and gender-based violence with medical, psychological and economic reintegration support. The DFID funded community
18 Apr 2012 : Column 368W
recovery programme, Tuungane, specifically focuses on marginalised groups, for instance ensuring that water points are accessible to vulnerable or marginalised groups.
Global Schools Partnership Scheme
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which schools in Wrexham have received grants under the Global Schools Partnership Scheme since 2003; and how much each school has received. 
|Wrexham School||Amount awarded (£)|
Anna Soubry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when his Department expects to present to Parliament legislative proposals to establish a statutory requirement to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on aid by 2013. 
Mr Andrew Mitchell: The coalition Government's “Programme for Government” made it clear that they would enshrine the commitment to invest 0.7% of gross national income as official development assistance into law. I am pleased to say that the Government have drafted a Bill to this effect. The Bill is now with business managers, and, as the Prime Minister has made clear, the Government will legislate when parliamentary time allows.
Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he expects to achieve the Government's target to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on overseas aid by 2013. 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 369W
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many ISAF-trained Afghan National Army personnel were deployed alongside UK troops at the end of (a) June 2009, (b) December 2009, (c) June 2010, (d) December 2010, (e) June 2011 and (f) December 2011; 
(2) how many ISAF-trained Afghan National Army personnel were deployed present for duty alongside ISAF troops at the end of (a) June 2009, (b) December 2009, (c) June 2010, (d) December 2010, (e) June 2011 and (f) December 2011. 
Nick Harvey: The Ministry of Defence only holds data on the established strength of Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel from the 3rd Brigade of 215 Corps, which works within Task Force Helmand's area of operations. The brigade's strength is as follows:
|ANA, 3/215 brigade strength|
Patrick Mercer: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Afghan National Army personnel had been ISAF-trained by the end of (a) June 2009, (b) December 2009, (c) June 2010, (d) December 2010, (e) June 2011 and (f) December 2011. 
Nick Harvey: The Ministry of Defence does not hold any central record of the numbers of Afghan National Army (ANA) personnel who have attended ISAF training courses. The approximate number of trained personnel in the ANA in the months requested is, however, shown in the following table:
[holding answer 16 April 2012]: On current plans, around 100 vehicles and other major pieces of equipment will be removed from Afghanistan during 2012. This includes: routine removal of vehicles that have been damaged beyond local repair; the recovery of capabilities which are no longer required in Afghanistan,
18 Apr 2012 : Column 370W
due to the development of the campaign and transition to an Afghan security lead in large parts of Task Force Helmand's area of operations, such as the Trojan Armoured Engineer and Challenger Armoured Recovery vehicles; and the removal of a number of Land Rover Snatch Vixen Plus vehicles that are being succeeded by Foxhound Light Protected Patrol vehicles.
Afghanistan and Iraq
Mr Robathan [holding answer 16 April 2012]: For those who died as a result of service prior to the introduction of the Armed Forces Compensation scheme (AFCS) on 6 April 2005 payments are made through the War Pension scheme. Between April 2002 and April 2005, some 230 widow(er)s were in receipt of a War Pension that contained an element for children. Our records do not differentiate between the different reasons for these deaths.
Since the introduction of the AFCS, more detail is available. From 6 April 2002 to 30 September 2011 some 45 children have been bereaved as a result of deaths arising from service in Iraq, and some 170 children as a result of deaths arising from service in Afghanistan.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the maximum number is of (a) F-35B and (b) F-35C Joint Combat Aircraft variants that could be accommodated on Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers. 
Peter Luff [holding answer 26 March 2012]: Nations which operate the Short Take Off Vertical Landing (STOVL) variant of the Joint Strike Fighter from aircraft carriers would be interoperable with other nations possessing equivalent capabilities.
If land-based, the STOVL variant will have similar requirements to each of the other two variants, and the similarity of their mission systems will allow all three Joint Strike Fighter variants to exchange information. This underlying interoperability between all nations with Joint Strike Fighter aircraft of any variant is an integral part of the programme, aiding the promulgation of a shared situational awareness and “air picture”.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 371W
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his Department has stopped any work or deferred signing contracts on (a) the electromagnetic aircraft launch system and (b) the arrester hook equipment. 
Armed Forces: Recruitment
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many recruits there were to the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force from (i) England, (ii) Ireland, (iii) Scotland and (iv) Wales in each of the last five years. 
Mr Robathan: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 November 2010, Official Report, column 211W, to the hon. Member for Houghton and Sunderland South (Bridget Phillipson), and to the answer I gave on 19 October 2011, Official Report, column 987W, the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan (Dr Whiteford).
Civil Servants: Code of Practice
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many investigations into breaches by civil servants of the Civil Service Code of Conduct occurred in his Department in each month from May 2010 to March 2012. 
If the matter cannot be resolved informally, we have—in line with the Civil Service Code—a formal three-stage procedure for raising matters of conscience or professional concern. Additionally, where an individual feels they cannot raise the matter within their line management chain we have six nominated officers who can be approached in confidence at any time. They are all senior members of the Department who are independent and impartial, and form no part of the departmental procedures. If the matter cannot be resolved at this stage, an individual can then refer their concern to the Department's Permanent Secretary.
Defence Business Services
18 Apr 2012 : Column 372W
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much he expects to save as a result of awarding the contract for Defence Business Services to Serco; and how such savings will be made. 
Mr Robathan: No redundancies have been made as a direct result of the decision to award the contract for Defence Business Services (DBS) to Serco. DBS is expected to reduce staff numbers at the same rate as other areas of the Ministry of Defence over the spending review period as part of our civilian reduction plans already announced.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the provisions of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) legislation will apply to the transfer of Defence Business Services operations to Serco; and whether these provisions would apply in the event that Serco outsources any elements of Defence Business Services work. 
Mr Robathan: Defence Business Services (DBS) remains an integral part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Staff working in DBS will be employed in the same way as all other MOD staff, and they will remain members of the civil service with the same terms and conditions. The chief executive post has been filled by Serco under the DBS Management Contract awarded on 14 March 2012. The contract includes appropriate TUPE provisions to cover the circumstances that may be applicable on commencement, transfer, termination or expiry of the contract.
Mr Robathan: The requirement was advertised publicly in the Official Journal of the European Union in March 2011, requesting Expressions of Interest, and the Award of Contract Notice was issued in the Official Journal of the European Unionin April 2012.
Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft
18 Apr 2012 : Column 373W
how many will remain operational as part of the RAF fleet. 
Peter Luff: In 2009 the Ministry of Defence reached an agreement with the US Government for the purchase of two F-35B aircraft, and agreement was reached on the purchase of a third F-35B aircraft in 2010. These aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in the current financial year 2012-13 and will be used to conduct joint operational test and evaluation with the US services.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which relief in place will be the last in which (a) TriStar, (b) BAC VC10 and (c) C-130 K Hercules will be used to transfer personnel from Afghanistan. 
Nick Harvey: The Voyager and A400M aircraft will become the backbone of our tactical and strategic airlift in the future. As part of the annual Planning Round process, the Ministry of Defence routinely considers a variety of options for how to deliver military capability in the light of the latest financial and strategic context. Final usage of TriStars, VC10s and C-130Ks for the relief in place will be determined as plans for our drawdown are finalised.
As part of the annual Planning Round process, the Ministry of Defence routinely considers a variety of options for how to deliver military capability in the light of the latest financial and strategic context. Any major changes to our current plans are announced to Parliament in the usual way.
Military Bases: Telephone Systems
Mr Robathan [holding answer 16 April 2012]: Work to install a fibre optic telephone system at Waterbeach Barracks will not now occur due to the decision to begin vacating the site in summer 2012, sooner than originally planned. There will therefore be no costs incurred.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 374W
MOD St Athan
Nick Harvey [holding answer 16 April 2012]: As previously explained by the Secretary of State for Defence, the right hon. Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), on 21 November 2011, Official Report, column 34W, there are no plans to publish either the report itself or the information it draws upon due to its highly-classified nature. It is too early to speculate about what it might be possible to say about the conclusions when the review has been completed.
Mr Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what projects his Department has undertaken with the US as part of the US-UK Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty; and if he will make a statement. 
Nick Harvey: The US-UK Defence Trade Co-operation Treaty came into force on 13 April 2012. Until this date transfers under the terms of the treaty were not permissible, therefore no projects have yet been conducted with the US under the auspices of the treaty.
The treaty aims to simplify transfer arrangements between the US and UK for specific technology destined for UK and US Government end use, the ultimate benefit of which will be to improve interoperability and the delivery of capability to our armed forces. We are actively exploiting the opportunities which the treaty offers for defence cooperation and joint operations.
Veterans: Radiation Exposure
Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he plans to implement Clause 7 of the Lesvos Declaration to inform nuclear test veterans of the levels of radiation to which they have been exposed and the consequences of the exposure. 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 375W
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence has no plans to implement Clause 7 of the 2009 Lesvos Declaration. The declaration makes clear it reflects the opinions of its authors and not the organisations to which they are affiliated. It was published under the auspices of the European Committee of Radiation Risk (ECRR). This is an informal body not set up by any Government or recognised academic institution.
Written Questions: Government Responses
(2) how much his Department has spent on work related to the STOVL design of aircraft in relation to the construction of the Queen Elizabeth class carriers; what estimate he has made of the cost of stopping development work on the (a) ramp and (b) other aspects of the design; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Luff [holding answer 23 March 2012]: The Queen Elizabeth class carriers were designed from the outset to be adaptable, i.e. while initially configured for short take off vertical landing (STOVL) operations, they would be able to be converted, if required, to carrier variant (CV). Following the October 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review announcement, STOVL-specific build work was stopped, including construction of the ramp. These changes did not incur additional cost; rather, they represented savings against the previous baseline. Our recent investigations have been assessing the time and cost implications of a conversion to CV.
We are reviewing all programmes as part of finalising the budget and balancing the equipment plan, and the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), will announce the outcome of this work when it is complete.
Nick Harvey: The Defence Transformation announcement of 18 July 2011, Official Report, columns 643-45, set out our strategic long-term direction on the structure of the Army and its basing requirements across the United Kingdom. It also included the outcome of the review into reserve forces “Future Force 2020”, which envisages a progressive adjustment of the regular/reserve balance of the Army over the coming decade.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 376W
This is a complex piece of work which requires the Army to review and rebalance its structure to identify when and how these changes can be made. This detailed work is under way but no decisions have, as yet, been taken on the future structure of specific Army units. It is therefore, too early to say which units are affected.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on the number of women serving prison sentences in Afghanistan; what proportion of such women are serving sentences for zina; and if he will make a statement. 
Alistair Burt: We are aware of eight women in detention in Helmand provincial prison. Two of the eight women have been convicted for zina-related offences. They have been sentenced to four years and three months respectively. We do not have national statistics on the numbers and sentences of women imprisoned in Afghanistan.
We continue to work with our international partners to press the Afghan Government to uphold their national and international human rights commitments, including the law on the elimination of violence against women and convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
Diplomatic Service: Official Cars
18 Apr 2012 : Column 377W
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next plans to raise the issue of human rights at EU level in the context of the EU-Israel Economic Association agreement. 
Alistair Burt: The EU-Israel Association agreement is an important part of the framework governing co-operation between the EU and Israel. The agreement is reviewed annually, including application of the human rights clauses.
Progress towards a two-state solution is a key element of the relationship between the EU and Israel. The EU has been very clear that no progress can be made on upgrading the wider EU-Israel relationship until there is substantial progress towards a two state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
As a firm friend of Israel, the UK is keen to see closer ties between Israel and the international community, including the EU. We do not believe that the isolation of Israel is the way to achieve the positive steps that we would like to see. However, we support the EU's position that further upgrades in Israel's relationship with the EU would only follow progress towards peace.
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he has had recent discussions with the Government of Israel on their duties as a UN state party to the World Heritage Convention to protect sites of religious and cultural importance such as Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. 
Alistair Burt: We raise our concerns on Jerusalem with Israel on a regular basis bilaterally and with our EU partners. East Jerusalem is regarded as occupied territory under international law; we do not recognise Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem.
We continue to support international calls for restraint and the avoidance of provocative actions in and around Jerusalem. Jerusalem holds particular significance for many groups around the globe, especially the three Abrahamic faiths of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
The Government place real importance on the right to freedom of religion for all. We remain deeply concerned about restrictions on freedom of movement between the west bank and East Jerusalem. It remains difficult for Palestinians, including Christians and Muslims, to enter East Jerusalem.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 378W
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Israeli Government on the use of administrative detention of Palestinians. 
Alistair Burt: I have regularly raised our concerns about the use of administrative detention by Israel, including with the Israeli ambassador to London on 23 February, the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister on 27 February and the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister on 19 March.
Jewish National Fund
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will have discussions with his US counterpart on the potential for North Korea sharing long-range missile technology with Iran. 
Alistair Burt: We are aware that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has in the past sold missile technology to Iran. DPRK's network of proliferation activities, including to countries such as Iran, is a threat to regional and international security. We remain deeply concerned about such activities and my officials are in regular contact with US counterparts and continue to monitor the situation closely.
We strongly support the tough sanctions imposed by UN Security Council Resolutions 1718 and 1874, which are designed to curb the range of weapons of mass destruction and conventional arms related proliferation activities undertaken by the DPRK. UN Security Council Resolution 1929 also requires countries to take steps to ensure that shipments of weapons and proliferation sensitive goods on route to Iran are stopped. We continue to work closely with international partners to ensure that these measures are robustly implemented.
Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide a list of all events held in his Department for which the Government have been reimbursed by (a) him and (b) the Conservative party since May 2010; and what the total amount reimbursed was in each case. 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 379W
Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide a list of all events held at 1 Carlton Gardens for which the Government have been reimbursed by (a) him and (b) the Conservative party since May 2010; and what the total amount reimbursed was in each case. 
Mr Lidington: Two events have been held at Carlton Gardens since May 2010 for which the Government have been reimbursed by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague). The events and the total amount reimbursed were:
Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will provide a list of all events held at Chevening for which the Government have been reimbursed by (a) him and (b) the Conservative Party since May 2010; and what the total amount reimbursed was in each case. 
One event has been held at Chevening since May 2010 for which the Government have been reimbursed by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague). The event and the total amount reimbursed were:
Private Dinner, May 2011—£3,211.02
Nick Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) officials in his Department have had any meetings with Peter Cruddas since May 2010. 
Mr Lidington: Ministers and special advisers have not held any meetings with Mr Cruddas since May 2010. The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), has been present at events attended by Mr Cruddas in the latter's former role of co-treasurer of the Conservative party.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 380W
have had any meetings with Sarah Southern since May 2010. 
Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will support the President of South Sudan's proposal to withdraw South Sudanese forces from Heglig if an international presence is stationed there and an agreement reached that Heglig will no longer be used to launch aerial attacks on South Sudanese territory. 
Mr Bellingham: As I made clear in my statement of 11 April, and in the statement issued by the President of the UN Security Council on 12 April, South Sudan must withdraw its forces from Sudanese territory immediately, and without preconditions. Sudan must also end all cross-border military action, including aerial bombing. I call on both Governments to implement the agreement on non-aggression they signed in February, and urge them to honour their commitment to establish a Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mission in collaboration with international participants.
Business, Innovation and Skills
Action for Employment
Karen Lumley: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much was paid to A4e between 2010 and 2012; and what proportion of this was paid to A4e's partners to provide services. 
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many employers in Wrexham constituency have received payments to take on their first young apprentice under the Government's incentive scheme since the scheme's inception. 
18 Apr 2012 : Column 381W
Business: Government Assistance
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many knowledge transfer partnership placements there were in each (a) local authority area and (b) parliamentary constituency in each year since the inception of the scheme. 
and contains recent KTP annual reports, which provide a geographical breakdown of KTPs by devolved Administration and England region, and a quarterly statistics section, which provides details of the placements that are being supported.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will prepare and publish a list of Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) contracts awarded since April 2008 in a form similar to the US Small Business Administration's TECH-Net public database of SBRI contracts including the name and address of each award winner, the name of the awarding agency, year of award, phase, amount of award and project title. 
Mr Prisk: The Technology Strategy Board plans by autumn this year to publish on its website a list of Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) contracts awarded including details of the award winner, the project awarded and the awarding agency.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding his Department plans to provide to the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) through the Technology Strategy Board in the 2011-12 financial year; and how much his Department plans to contribute to SBRI in future years. 
Mr Prisk: Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) is a mechanism that is intended to be used by public sector bodies to address the challenges they face and to meet policy objectives. The funding for SBRI projects can therefore come from a variety of public sector organisation looking for innovative solutions. The Department of Health has for instance committed to spend £20 million to support SBRI projects over the next two years.
The Department is responsible for providing the overall funding for the Technology Strategy Board of approximately £330 million per annum. The Technology Strategy Board then decides (apart from Catapult centres and Smart where there are specific budget allocations) how best to use that budget.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 382W
challenges. The Technology Strategy Board (TSB) will continue to use SBRI and other mechanisms within its programmes, though decisions as to which mechanism is used on which challenge is an operational one which is taken within the relevant programme. This means that it is not possible to fully quantify at this point how much will be spent via SBRI and how much by other means. However, it is clear already that the DALLAS programme in the area of assisted living will issue up to £18 million of SBRI contracts this year and a call in the area of stratified medicines has just launched with a budget of £7.5 million. On top of these programme- specific SBRI calls, the TSB has a budget of £10 million per year for the next two years to stimulate the use of SBRI in Departments and agencies through co-funding.
Mr Umunna: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills whether he has any plans to reintroduce the Small Business Research Initiative programmes operated by research councils until 2006. 
Mr Prisk: The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) programme was refocused and relaunched in 2009, specifically to enable public sector bodies to procure innovative solutions to particular challenges they faced from technology-based companies. The research councils and other public sector organisations are able to use the programme when it provides a suitable mechanism for meeting their needs.
Simon Danczuk: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what meetings (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) officials in his Department have had with Peter Cruddas since 12 May 2010; 
Norman Lamb: On Ministers, I refer the hon. Member to the quarterly publication of meetings between Ministers and external organisations. Details from October 2011 onwards will be published in due course.
On officials, I refer the hon. Member to the quarterly publication of meetings between the permanent secretary and external organisations. Details from October 2011 onwards will be published in due course.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 383W
Local Government: Apprentices
Mr Hayes: The National Apprenticeship Service works closely with all employers in the public and private sectors who are interested in taking on an apprentice. This includes local authorities. In addition the National Apprenticeship Service:
Organises joint marketing campaigns targeting employers to take on apprentices, such as the “North East's recently launched ‘100 DAYS’ campaign—The Apprenticeship Challenge”, This builds on last year's successful ‘100 in 100 campaigns’ which successfully engaged employers providing an additional 1,355 apprenticeships in the region.
Works with local authority 14-19 teams to support specific groups such as care leavers into apprenticeships.
18 Apr 2012 : Column 384W
Encourages local authorities to use their power as public procurers to add value to procurement activity through contractors employing apprentices.
Works with local authority economic regeneration teams to support small businesses and align local and national incentive programmes utilising central and local funding.