Chris Grayling: From research carried out in 1993 the Health and Safety Executive identified that issues relating to demands, control, support, relationships, role and change in the workplace are associated with work-related stress.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessments the Department have made on the effects of work-based stress on (a) productivity, (b) personal relationships, (c) physical health, (d) mental health and (e) personal finance. 
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Executive (HSE) has produced guidance on the management of work-related stress and further information is available on HSE's website.
Ian Austin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many journeys (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department made by (i) train, (ii) coach and (iii) Government car in an official capacity in each of the last six months. 
In line with the Government's austerity agenda, the Department for Work and Pensions has taken vigorous action to enhance business travel policy. The DWP's business travel policy actively discourages
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travel, unless the alternatives have been examined and exhausted and where travel is deemed appropriate, requires the use of the most cost effective modes of transport.
Section 10 of the Ministerial Code provides guidance on travel for Ministers and makes clear that Ministers must ensure that they always make efficient and cost-effective travel arrangements. The ministerial team has led the department's travel cost reduction programme by example, as shown by the reduction in overall travel expenditure by ministers.
|(a) Journeys made by Minister in an official capacity (1)|
|October 2011||November 2011||December 2011||January 2012||February 2012||March 2012|
|(b) Journeys made by official from the Department for Work and Pensions in an official capacity (1)|
|October 2011||November 2011||December 2011||January 2012||February 2012||March 2012|
|(1) The business travel policy actively discourages travel, unless the alternatives have been examined and exhausted and where travel is deemed appropriate, requires the use of the most cost effective modes of transport. (2) A train (return trip) is calculated as two journeys. (3) Not available. Coach travel is not captured by individual journeys. (4) Since May 2010 the Department has reduced its number of ministerial cars from six to one. The total ministerial spend on taxi and private hire vehicles for the period May 2010 to April 2011 was £115,000 compared to expenditure of £607,000 for the comparable period from May 2009 i.e. an 81% reduction.|
Grahame M. Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of reductions in public expenditure on the rate of female unemployment in the north-east. 
Chris Grayling: No specific assessment has been made. However, the number of women aged 16 to 64 in work in the north-east has remained stable over the last year, while the number not in work has fallen slightly both in absolute terms and as a proportion of the population. Within this, female unemployment has risen by 6,000 on the year, to 57,000, driven by falling inactivity—down 7,000, to 266,000—as more women have joined the labour force.
Zac Goldsmith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to his Department's response to the report by the Social Security Advisory Committee on Universal Credit: the impact on passported benefits, what definition of healthy school food his Department uses. 
“Food that meets the school food standards set out in The Education (Nutritional Standards and Requirements for School Food) (England) Regulations 2007.”
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 8 March 2012, Official Report, column 848W, on universal credit, which organisations and interests are represented in the membership of the Business and IT Solutions Steering Group; for what reason local authorities are represented; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Grayling: The Business and IT Solutions Steering Group is responsible for the detailed design and development of an assured universal credit solution that supports the successful delivery of the universal credit service design.
The universal credit programme recognises the importance of working with key stakeholders to inform the design and delivery of universal credit. This has been reflected in the current membership of the Business and IT Solutions Steering Group which includes senior officials from the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs, Department for Communities and Local Government, Northern Ireland Social Security Agency and interests from key suppliers such as HP, Accenture, BT and IBM.
The Department for Communities and Local Government is represented on this group as a key partner in the delivery of universal credit. There is no other representation from the local authority on this group.
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Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many job vacancies there were for (a) staff posts and (b) senior civil service posts in his Department on 31 March (i) 2010, (ii) 2011 and (iii) 2012; and if he will make a statement. 
|Senior civil service figures|
|Date||Number of vacancies||Number of vacancies for the year|
|(1) Not all filled due to restructuring|
|Staff posts (below SCS)|
|Date||No. of vacancies||Notes|
Michael Dugher: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time employment vacancies were advertised in Jobcentre Plus offices in (i) Barnsley East constituency and (ii) Barnsley metropolitan borough in the latest period for which figures are available. 
|Vacancy type||Barnsley East parliamentary constituency||Barnsley local authority|
Work Capability Assessment
Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which contractors are undertaking work capability assessments in each region; what proportion of incapacity benefit recipients were deemed fit for work in the latest period for which figures are available; what proportion were found eligible for the employment and support allowance; how many appeals against decisions were made in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the average time taken was to settle such appeals. 
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allowance (ESA) on a national level for the first time. The report can be found on the internet at the link as follows:
Communities and Local Government
Charlie Elphicke: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many completed sales took place under the (a) Social HomeBuy scheme and (b) Rent to HomeBuy scheme from its commencement to the end of April 2010. 
Grant Shapps: Since the commencement of these schemes to the end of the 2009-10 financial year there have been 384 Social HomeBuy completions and 3,133 Rent to HomeBuy completions. The figures for Rent to HomeBuy reflect the point at which the unit was completed and not when the tenant rented the property or the point at which they took up their opportunity to purchase. Data are not collected centrally on when the opportunity to purchase under Rent to HomeBuy is taken up.
To place these figures in context, when Social HomeBuy was launched by the previous Administration, the underlying analysis was based on an assumption that it would help an extra 5,000 households a year into homeownership (ODPM, “Homebuy—expanding the opportunity to own, April 2005”, para 1.4).
While there were no formal targets for Rent to HomeBuy, up to £313 million of funding had been allocated to the scheme for 2008 to 2011 under the last Administration, according to the answer to my question of 2 March 2010, Official Report, columns 1127-1128W.
Bed and Breakfast Accommodation
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate he has made of the proportion of households placed in bed and breakfast accommodation who remained in place for more than six weeks in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Council Tax Benefits
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will place in the Library a copy of the responses received from local authorities replying to his consultation on localising support for council tax benefit in England. 
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Eric Ollerenshaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he has any plans to amend the Local Authorities (Members' Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003 to allow co-opted councillors to claim allowances; and if he will make a statement. 
Robert Neill: The Local Authorities (Members' Allowances) (England) Regulations 2003, which the Government currently has no plans to amend, provide for co-opted members of principal councils to receive an allowance for attending conferences and meetings, if that is what the council decides, after receiving recommendations about a scheme of allowances from its independent remuneration panel. The regulations also allow co-opted members of parish councils to receive travelling and subsistence allowances.
Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether Ministers have the power to make payments to the National Association of Local Councils for the purposes of training and development of town and parish councillors. 
Robert Neill: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has powers under the Charities Act 2006 to give financial assistance to any charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, including organisations such as the National Association of Local Councils, in respect of any of the institution’s activities.
As part of the Supporting Communities in Neighbourhood Planning scheme, my Department funds the Council for the Protection of Rural England, who are working in partnership with the National Association of Local Councils, to support communities wishing to do neighbourhood planning. As part of this funding, the Council for the Protection of Rural England and the National Association of Local Councils have provided skills and training on neighbourhood planning to town and parish councils and community groups.
Diamond Jubilee 2012: Religion
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding he has allocated to encourage faith communities in the UK to organise services to celebrate HM the Queen’s diamond jubilee; for what purposes; and if he will make a statement. 
No funding has been allocated to faith communities to organise services to mark the diamond jubilee, as it is not the role of Government to fund religious worship. However, we are keen to see people from all faiths and those of no religious beliefs coming together to mark this landmark in our country’s history. My Department is facilitating A Year of Service, a programme that is celebrating and linking up faith-based volunteering throughout the year. This is enabling people
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of different faiths to join together to mark the jubilee through practical action to benefit their communities. Ministers are also strongly encouraging support for the many local and neighbourhood celebrations being organised, including the big jubilee lunch, a large number of which have the active participation of faith communities.
Mr Denham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his policy is on the period for which emails sent and received by (a) Ministers, (b) officials, and (c) special advisers in his Department are retained; and whether such e-mails are recoverable from the IT systems in his Department after that period. 
Robert Neill: E-mail messages that form part of the official record are saved for as long as business needs require and stored corporately in accordance with departmental record management procedures.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of whether local authorities placing homeless households in accommodation in other areas are notifying the receiving authority in all cases; and if he will make a statement. 
Under the homelessness legislation local authorities must secure accommodation within their own borough so far as reasonably practicable. If they secure accommodation in the district of another local authority, they must notify the other authority in writing.
In all cases local authorities must be satisfied that the accommodation is suitable for the applicant and his or her household. In considering 'Suitability' authorities must, by law, consider whether a specific property is suitable for the applicant and their household's particular individual needs. This includes the location of accommodation.
Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) actual and (b) percentage change in the number of (i) homelessness applications, (ii) homelessness acceptances and (iii) households in bed and breakfast accommodation was in each English local authority area between May 2010 and the most recent month for which figures are available. 
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I recently announced additional funding of £70 million this year to tackle and prevent rough sleeping and prevent repossessions. This comes on top of the existing £400 million homelessness grant this Government has protected over the next four years.
Andrew Stunell: Data are not collected at constituency level but are reported for local authority areas. Estimates of the number of dwellings with category 1 hazards under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System are reported by local authorities through the Housing Strategy Statistical Appendix. The latest data relate to 2010-11 and are available on the Department's website at:
Andrew Stunell: Data on empty homes can be found in the Department for Communities and Local Government live tables on dwelling stock. Live table 615 shows empty homes by local authority district. Data are not available by parliamentary constituency.
Housing: Vulnerable Adults
Tristram Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether he is taking steps to prevent the re-housing of vulnerable people from areas of high rental prices to low. 
For households who are homeless through no fault of their own, eligible and in priority need, local authorities must under the homelessness legislation secure accommodation within their own borough so far as reasonably practicable. Local authorities must have, by law, regard to the statutory guidance, which states that
“housing authorities should wherever possible, secure accommodation that is as close as possible to where they were previously living”.
Staff: Interim Posts
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a non-ministerial department or arm's length body controlled by the Department through (i) Penna Consulting, (ii) Reed Personnel Services and (iii) Capita Resourcing Ltd (trading as Veredus) on the latest date for which figures are available; and how many such people (A) had been in post for over a year and (B) worked full-time at that date. 
Robert Neill [holding answer 26 March 2012]: The following tables set out the number of people employed in interim posts in the Department for Communities and Local Government and its arm’s length bodies through Reed Personal Services and Capita Resourcing (although not through their Veredus trading name) as at 29 February 2012.
|Reed Personal Services||of which have been in post over a year||of which work full time|
|Capita Resourcing Ltd||of which have been in post over a year||of which work full time|
Please note the above tables include all agency staff, interims and contractors employed through Reed and Capita as at 29 February 2012. No temporary staff were employed through Penna Consulting on that date.
The Department interims employed via Reed are for the administration of electoral claims on behalf of the Electoral Commission. The Department interims employed via Capita are primarily specialist technical posts relating to audit, procurement and finance.
Mayor of London: Taxation
Priti Patel: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what representations his Department and its predecessors received from the Mayor of London on granting the Mayor taxation-related powers between May 2000 and May 2008; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of such taxes. 
Robert Neill: My Department received representations from the then Mayor of London about local taxation in the context of the 2006 Lyons Inquiry and also in the context of the Balance of Funding Review. Copies of the Greater London Authority's responses to both have been placed in the Library of the House.
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There were also extensive discussions with the Greater London Authority about the implementation of a business rate supplement for Crossrail in 2007 which fed into the Business Rate Supplement Act 2009.
Meden Valley Partnership
Sir Alan Meale: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what funding from the public purse has been allocated to Meden Valley Making Places by year since the inception of the organisation; 
(5) what information the Homes and Communities Agency holds on individual valuations made on each property purchased by Meden Valley Making Places and when each valuation was made in each year since the inception of the organisation; 
(6) what information the Homes and Communities Agency holds on which individuals and companies sold properties to Meden Valley Making Places, in each year since the inception of the organisation; 
(7) what information the Homes and Communities Agency holds on the purchase of properties by Meden Valley Making Places; on what date each property was purchased; what the price paid was for each property; and if he will publish any such information held; 
(8) what information the Homes and Communities Agency holds on the present-day estimated value of the land and properties purchased by Meden Valley Making Places; and if he will publish any such information held; 
(10) what information the Homes and Communities Agency holds on the offers made on properties purchased by Meden Valley Making Places and to whom those offers were made; and if he will publish any such information held; 
(11) what information the Homes and Communities Agency holds on incidents involving a change of ownership of properties purchased by Meden Valley Making Places after initial offers to purchase them were made; and if he will publish any such information held. 
The Department for Communities and Local Government (formerly the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) approved funding to Meden Valley Making Places in December 2004 of £25.81 million as
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part of the Homes and Communities Agency’s (formerly English Partnerships’) contribution to the gross public sector funding of £36.86 million. East Midlands Development Agency provided £7.4 million for the project either to Meden Valley Making Places or to the local authorities involved (Mansfield and Bolsover district councils). The local authorities also supported the project by providing land and property (including individual house purchases in advance). The Homes and Communities Agency are not currently able to account for funding allocation year by year. It would not be possible to gather the more detailed information requested before Prorogation.
Neither the Department nor the Homes and Communities Agency currently has information on non central Government public funds. Financial closure of the company, which ceased trading on 31 December 2011, is being handled by external auditors. Financial information on non central Government public funds would be available from them.
All properties were purchased with the agreement of the relevant local authorities and with the compulsory purchase orders raised between 2004 and 2006. Meden Valley Making Places purchased properties by agreement in advance of the compulsory purchase order/general vesting declaration and some were acquired following confirmation. All properties purchased by Meden Valley Making Places had an independent verification of the purchase price by a Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors qualified valuer. Information relating to compulsory purchase orders is held by the Homes and Communities Agency’s external solicitors. The number of properties purchased would be in excess of 500 but it must be taken into account that the local authorities acquired properties directly in advance of the Meden Valley Making Places compulsory purchase order.
Land and properties in the ownership of Meden Valley Making Places, the Homes and Communities Agency and local authorities were disposed of either to registered providers or on the open market to private house builders.
The Homes and Communities Agency does not hold information relating to offers made on land and properties. General property files for individual properties were transferred by Meden Valley Making Places to the appropriate local authorities (Mansfield and Bolsover district councils) as those responsible for the local area.
The Homes and Communities Agency would need to investigate the secure information that they hold or the files held by the appropriate local authorities to answer the question relating to change of ownership post initial offer. It would not be possible to gather this information before Prorogation.
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Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the duty to co-operate in section 110 of the Localism Act will apply to qualifying bodies for the purposes of neighbourhood plans. 
Greg Clark: The duty to cooperate focuses on strategic, cross-boundary matters delivered through the Local plan. Neighbourhood plans are required to be in general conformity with the strategic priorities of the Local plan so this is where any strategic issues in the Neighbourhood plan will be considered.
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2011 and 31 January 2012; and if he will estimate the potential savings in each case. 
Robert Neill [holding answer 14 March 2012]: DCLG is committed to removing needless bureaucracy and unnecessary burdens. The Localism Act 2011 received Royal Assent in November 2011, and has freed local Government from central and regional control.
The Act removes the requirements on home sellers and buyers to obtain a Home Information Pack, saving an estimated £41 million in administrative costs. It also introduces Neighbourhood Plans which cut red tape on planning application processes, reducing around £14 million of administrative burdens.
A list of the statutory instruments which were revoked between 1 June 2011 and 31 January 2012 is listed in the following table. Statutory instruments should not necessarily be viewed as regulations—they are pieces of secondary legislation which ensure policy measures have parliamentary oversight.
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Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what regulations his Department introduced between 1 June 2011 and 31 January 2012; and at what cost to the public purse. 
Robert Neill [holding answer 15 March 2012]:The Department made 34 statutory instruments between 1 June 2011 and 31 January 2012 which are listed as follows. Statutory instruments should not necessarily be viewed as regulations—they are pieces of secondary legislation which ensure policy and functional measures have parliamentary scrutiny and oversight.
Of these 34, 11 were deregulatory or otherwise beneficial to business; one was regulatory (implementing an EU directive), the remainder had no quantifiable impact on the private and voluntary sectors. I have placed in the Library a table with the savings and costings where relevant, based on the explanatory memorandums and impact assessments which are in the public domain.
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Travellers Sites: Coventry
Andrew Stunell: The bi-annual Count of Gypsy and Traveller Caravans shows the number of Traveller caravans on authorised and unauthorised sites, and lists the Traveller sites provided by local authorities and other registered providers, in each local authority area in England.
The latest published count for which figures are available was undertaken in July 2011 and found that in Coventry there were no sites provided by the local authority or by other registered providers and six caravans on authorised private sites. There were no caravans on unauthorised sites.
Robert Neill: Planning policy does not include an exclusion zone between wind turbines and dwellings. Rather, impacts should be assessed on a case by case basis taking into account the context, such as the local topography.
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Written Questions: Government Responses
John Mann: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish all emails between representatives of (a) News Corp and (b) BSkyB and special advisers in his Department in the last two years. 
Miss Chloe Smith [holding answer 30 April 2012]: There is e-mail contact between special advisers and all broadcasting and media organisations regarding press lines and logistics. Available records contain no e-mails between representatives of News Corp or BskyB and special advisers regarding Government policy.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what proportion of the tax revenue raised from a person on the average national income was paid by the UK to the EU in the latest period for which figures are available; what proportion of such payment to the EU was spent in the UK in financial year 2010-11; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what proportion of the tax paid by a British taxpayer on the average national income was spent on (a) welfare, (b) national debt, (c) health, (d) education, (e) government administration, (f) public order, (g) defence, (h) housing, (i) infrastructure, agriculture and industry, (j) the EU budget, (k) overseas aid, (l) recreation, religion and culture, (m) environment and (n) other matters in financial year 2010-11; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr Gauke [holding answer 23 April 2012]: The vast majority of taxes and receipts are not hypothecated to specific expenditure and therefore making a direct connection between public sector receipts and what they are spent on is not possible.
The answer given in the following table is illustrative and assumes that the income tax receipts and NICs from a taxpayer on average income is used to fund expenditure according to the breakdown of total public sector expenditure shown in table 5.2 of HM Treasury's Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses (PESA) 2011 publication.
Average annual earnings in 2011 for employees on adult rates in the same job for more than a year was £26,871. HMRC estimate that the amount of tax and national insurance contributions paid by someone with these earnings was £6,236.
|Category (1)||Expenditure 2010-11 (£ million)||Percentage of total expenditure 2010-11||Amount of an average taxpayer's income tax and NICs spent in 2010-11 (£)|
|(1) Categories are derived from PESA 2011, table 5.2. (2) Equivalent to item 1.7 under General public services in table 5.2, PESA 2011. (3) Equivalent to item 1.1 under General public services in table 5.2, PESA 2011. (4) Equivalent to Total economic affairs in table 5.2, PESA 2011. (5) Equivalent to Total EU transactions in table 5.2, PESA 2011. (6) Equivalent to item 1.2 under General public services in table 5.2, PESA 2011. (7) Equivalent to items 1.3,1.4,1.5 and 1.6 under General public services in table 5.2, PESA 2011.|
The UK's Gross national income—based contribution to the EU, net of abatement and collection costs, in 2010-11 was £7.7 billion, of which approximately £4.6 billion, or 60%, was spent in the UK (this includes attributed aid and common foreign and security policy spending).
The amount allocated to the EU Budget, net of the UK abatement, refund for collection costs, public sector receipts from the EU and attributed aid and common foreign and security policy spending was £3.1 billion in 2010-11. This was 0.5% of total public sector expenditure.
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EU Internal Trade
Mr Cash: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the level of the current account transaction for goods and services between the UK and EU member states in each of the last five years; and what assessment he has made of the level of debt on the reduction of the deficit. 
Mr Hoban: The Office for National Statistics report the trade balance in goods and services with the EU to have been -£35 billion in 2007, -£29 billion in 2008, -£26 billion in 2009, -£32 billion in 2010 and -£25 billion in 2011. The total current account balance with the EU was -£38 billion in 2007, -£6 billion in 2008, -£12 billion in 2009, -£48 billion in 2010 and -£41 billion in 2011.
The independent Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that the Government is on course to meet its target for debt, laid out in the 2010 June Budget. This is for public sector net debt as a percentage of GDP to be falling by 2015-16. According to the OBR's March 2012 Economic and Fiscal Outlook, public sector net debt is forecast to peak at 76.3% of GDP in 2014-15.
Financial Services: Complaints
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he has had discussions with the Financial Ombudsman on the number of small and medium-sized enterprises or their owners that have submitted complaints to the Financial Ombudsman in (a) Coventry and (b) England in the last month; 
Mr Hoban: The matters raised are for the Financial Ombudsman Service (FSO), whose day-to-day operations are independent from government control and influence. I have asked the FOS to write to the hon. Member with the information requested. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate his Department has made of the additional number of people who will pay the 40% income tax rate as a result of his changes to rates of taxation in (a) Denton and Reddish constituency, (b) England and (c) the UK in each of the next five years; 
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Outturn estimates of higher rate taxpayer numbers in Denton and Reddish constituency are subject to significant uncertainties due to limited survey sample size. They have ranged between one and two thousand in the period 2004-05 to 2009-10, rounded to the nearest thousand.
Mr Meacher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what changes he is making to the inheritance tax exemption for non-domiciled taxpayers; how much money will be allowed to be transferred between spouses and civil partners; what estimate he has made of the annual revenue forgone over each of the next five years; and how many people he expects to benefit from such changes in each of these years. 
Mr Gauke: The Government intends to increase the maximum amount that a UK-domiciled individual can transfer to their non-UK domiciled spouse or civil partner free of inheritance tax (IHT) from its current level of £55,000. This change will be included in Finance Bill 2013 and will be subject to technical consultation.
Alongside that the Government intends to allow individuals who are domiciled outside the UK and who have a UK-domiciled spouse or civil partner to elect to be treated as domiciled in the UK for the purposes of IHT. Where an election was made transfers between spouses or civil partners would be exempt from IHT, but the electing individual would henceforth become liable to IHT on their worldwide assets, not just those in the UK. It is expected that in many cases where a transfer would otherwise be subject to the limit referred to above the recipient will make the election.
Taken together these changes provide a balanced approach to the risk that an individual whose domicile is outside the UK may remove assets from the scope of IHT by placing them offshore. Where that risk exists the amount that may be transferred to a non-UK domiciled spouse or civil partner free of IHT will be capped at a level equivalent to the prevailing IHT nil-rate band. Where there is no such risk, because the transferee is prepared to opt into UK-domicile treatment for IHT purposes—thereby making their worldwide assets potentially liable to IHT—transfers will not be capped.
Interest Rate Swap Transactions
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department has conducted or plans to conduct an investigation into the misselling of interest rate swap agreements by banks in the UK. 
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is currently carrying out a review of this issue. As part of this, the FSA are considering additional information from the small businesses that purchased these products, to help them better quantify the size of the issue and to establish whether any banks have failed to comply with
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their obligations under the FSA Conduct of Business Sourcebook. Any potential next steps will be considered following the results of this report.
HM Treasury is able to provide the total amounts of legal expenditure incurred by HMT and its Executive agencies (DMO and APA), over the requisite periods, as recorded on its accounting system under the relevant legal costs codes. The following figures include internal and external legal spending, including all expenditure with the Treasury Solicitor (which includes the internal legal advisers to the Treasury as well as litigation services).
|Total legal spend (£)|
Heidi Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for which events held at (a) Dorneywood and (b) 11 Downing Street the Government have costs been reimbursed by (i) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (ii) the Conservative Party; and how much was reimbursed in each case. 
Miss Chloe Smith [holding answer 18 April 2012]:As has been the case under successive Administrations, information about events in Dorneywood or No. 11 Downing street funded by the Chancellor of the Exchequer personally or by the Conservative party is not disclosed.
Dr Whitehead: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what amounts were transferred by Ofgem to the consolidated fund under section 1 of the Civil List Act 1952 in each year from 2009 to 2011. 
2009-10: £127 million
2010-11: £74 million
2011-12: £87 million
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Stephen Timms: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the findings on data analysis in the Major Projects Authority's most recent review of the PAYE Real Time Information Project; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gauke [holding answer 23 April 2012]:The Real Time Information (RTI) Programme has accepted and implemented all of the recommendations made by the Major Projects Authority review team. Findings in relation to data analysis have been addressed. RTI is on track and the pilot started successfully on 11 April 2012, when the first submission was received.
Michael Dugher: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department's procurement spend with small and medium-sized enterprises was in (a) the fourth quarter of 2010-11, (b) the first quarter of 2011-12 and (c) the second quarter of 2011-12. 
European Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC (6 May 2003) defines a small and medium sized enterprise (SME) as a company with a headcount of less than 250 full-time equivalents and either an annual turnover of no more than €50 million (£41.6 million) or a balance sheet that does not exceed €43 million (£35.8 million).
Consistent with that definition, the direct procurement spend with organisations classified by HM Treasury as small and medium-sized enterprises is shown in the following table. The figures are taken from HM Treasury's financial system. They are on a cash rather than accruals basis and exclude VAT.
|Period||£ (excluding VAT)|
Public Sector Debt
Miss Chloe Smith: The Office for National Statistics (ONS) produces a monthly estimate of public sector net debt, excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions. The monthly estimate of public sector net debt is published on the ONS website, available at
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|Public sector net debt|
|Financial year||£ billion||Percentage of GDP|
In November 2011 the Government produced its first Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) document for the financial year 2009/10. WGA is a consolidated set of financial statements for the UK public sector. It consolidates the audited accounts of around 1,500 organisations across the public sector, including central Government departments, local authorities, devolved Administrations, the Health Service, and public corporations, in order to produce a comprehensive, accounts-based picture of the fiscal position in any one year. This document is available on HM Treasury website at:
The Statement of Financial Position sets out the assets held and liabilities owed by the Government, in a snapshot of the public sector balance sheet as at 31 March 2010. It shows that, at 31 March 2010, the public sector held assets valued at £1,208 billion and had total liabilities of £2,419 billion. The public sector therefore faced a total net liability of £1,212 billion on an International Financial Reporting Standards basis.
Revenue and Customs
Mr Gauke: HMRC does not have specific published targets for processing tax rebate claims. Generally HMRC aims to deal with at least 80% of letters from customers within 15 working days. Most claims to a tax rebate are dealt with within this time scale. HMRC has significantly improved its post handling times over the past year and I expect this improvement to continue.
|1 April to 31 March each year||Number of sick days|
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Mr Gauke: There is no change to the VAT treatment of repairs to listed buildings. They have always been subject to VAT. Annex B—Tables of Impact for Individual Measures in HM Revenue and Customs consultation document “VAT: Addressing Borderline Anomalies”, published at Budget 2012, sets out estimates for VAT which will be raised from approved alterations to listed buildings and a summary of impacts upon which comments are invited
It is not possible to introduce a VAT zero rate for housing repairs, maintenance and improvement works. The UK retains its zero rates of VAT under longstanding formal agreements with other member states. Under the terms of those agreements, we cannot extend the scope of existing zero rates nor introduce new ones.
Mr Sheerman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the likely loss in revenue to the Exchequer if VAT on housing repair, maintenance and improvement works were set at (a) zero, (b) five, (c) 10, (d) 15 and (e) 17.5 per cent. 
Mr Gauke: The following table shows the estimated cost to the Exchequer if VAT on housing repair, maintenance and improvement, were set at (a) zero, (b) five, (c) 10, (d) 15 and (e) 17.5%. These estimates are tentative and do not include any behavioural change. The figures are for 2012-13 and are rounded to the nearest £100 million.
|Alternative VAT rate||Illustrative revenue impact 2012-13 (£ million)|
|(1 )Under EU laws the minimum permitted reduced rate of VAT is 5%|
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Written Questions: Government Responses
Stephen McPartland: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to provide a substantive answer to question 99245, on the personal allowance, tabled on 6 March 2012 for answer on 12 March 2012. 
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
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raise at the Universal Periodic Review; what recent representations he has received about the Review; and if he will make a statement. 
The Minister of State for Justice, Lord McNally, will lead the UK's delegation to Geneva for its second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on 24 May 2012. The UK's UPR will be in part based on the UK's national report that was submitted to the United Nations on 5 March 2012. As part of the UK's preparations for its UPR the Ministry of Justice, in partnership with the devolved Administrations, has held a series of consultation events at which NGOs and civil society groups have been given the opportunity to raise issues in advance of the UK's review.
Written Answers to Questions
Tuesday 1 May 2012
Alcoholic Drinks: Prices
David Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much her Department spent on asylum seekers awaiting an immigration decision in the last year for which figures are available. 
Damian Green: The UK Border Agency spent £304.5 million in 2010-11 on providing accommodation, transport and subsistence for asylum seekers. In 2011-12, the comparable figure is £240.2 million (this figure is provisional and unaudited). Due to the way the information is recorded, it is not possible to identify separately expenditure on asylum seekers awaiting immigration decisions without incurring disproportionate costs.
Asylum: Young People
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department sought the (a) advice and (b) permission of the Department for Education before beginning the age assessments dental x-ray pilot. 
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will consider the proposal of the Immigration Law Practitioner's Association to establish regional expert age assessment centres made in its 2007 report When Is a Child Not a Child? 
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will evaluate the effects of the age assessments dental x-ray pilots; and if she will ensure that young people are consulted as part of such an evaluation. 
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Boston College Project
Dr Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has discussed the Government's request to subpoena recordings from the Boston College oral history project with the US Secretary of State. 
Nick Herbert [holding answer 30 April 2012]: Home Office Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of international partners, as well as organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors, as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of such meetings.
Rachel Reeves: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many computers and related equipment have been purchased by her Department and its public bodies since May 2010; and what the (a) makes and (b) costs were. 
Damian Green [holding answer 30 April 2012]: The Home Office, along with the United Kingdom Border Agency, Criminal Records Bureau and National Fraud Authority, procure desktop managed services from third party suppliers, and do not generally purchase computers and related equipment directly. It is not possible to say how many computers and related equipment have been purchased since May 2010, without incurring disproportionate cost.
The Identity and Passport Service has, since May 2010, purchased computer and related equipment through its third party service provider. The following table provides the relevant information, where available. Information on how many computers and related equipment have been purchased by non-departmental public bodies is not held centrally, and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
|Computers and related equipment which have been purchased by IPS since May 2010|
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Criminal Records: EU Action
Steve McCabe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the European Criminal Records Information System to ensure that British citizens are treated in the same way as other residents of EU member states; and what safeguards have been put in place in this respect. 
The Home Office has delegated responsibility for the practical implementation and day to day operation of Council Decisions 2009/315/JHA on the organisation and content of the exchange of information extracted from the criminal record between member states and 2009/316/JHA on the establishment of the European Criminal Records Information System
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(ECRIS) in application of Article 11 of Framework Decision 2009/315/JHA to the United Kingdom Central Authority for the Exchange of Criminal Records (UKCA-ECR) which is run by the Association of Chief Police Officers Criminal Records Office (ACRO). Information shared under this mechanism can only be used by the receiving member state in relation to the purpose or proceedings for which it was requested (except where it is necessary to share information to prevent an immediate and serious threat to public security).
Where a British citizen is the subject of criminal proceedings in another EU member state, the UKCA-ECR must send that member state a copy of the individual's previous criminal record where it is requested to do so. Member states are required, under Council Framework Decision 2008/675/JHA on taking account of convictions in the member states of the European Union in the course of new criminal proceedings, to take into account convictions in other member states during criminal proceedings in the same way as they would convictions handed down by their own jurisdiction. This also means that EU offenders in the UK will be able to have their previous convictions taken into account by the UK courts in the same way as previous convictions of British citizens is used and so will equalise treatment before our courts.
Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has commissioned from external experts on the technical viability of the Communications Capabilities Development Programme. 
James Brokenshire [holding answer 25 April 2012]: The technical capabilities required for the Communications Capabilities Development programme have been selected on the basis of proven technology. Technical viability is kept under review through periodic external assurance reviews and by consulting with industry, suppliers and other Government Departments.
Damian Green: A request to ‘fast track' (facilitate) an application for entry clearance can be requested by FCO staff members. The facilitation process is used sparingly for applications submitted by persons of very high standing in the local community where there is a clear overriding benefit, e.g. political or economic interest to the UK. Facilitation does not influence the entry clearance officer's final decision or consideration of the application within the immigration rules. All facilitation requests are entered in a register and the register is regularly checked by an entry clearance manager and FCO senior management.
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Occupied West Bank entering the UK; and if she will discuss with her counterparts in each EU member state introducing such a ban. 
Damian Green [holding answer 26 April 2012]: There are no plans for the introduction of a blanket travel ban on the holders of Israeli passports who live in the Occupied Palestinian Territories from entering the United Kingdom.
Chris Heaton-Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which EU measures in justice and home affairs matters falling under the responsibility of her Department the UK has sought to accept after their adoption by the EU; and in which such cases the European Commission or the Council of the EU decided to require the UK to fulfil particular conditions before it could become bound by the relevant EU measure; what those conditions were in each such case; and whether the UK fulfilled them. 
On 16 July 2011, the UK applied to opt into the adopted Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims. This application was accepted by the Commission on 16 October 2011 and no conditions were set.
On 8 February 2012, the UK applied to opt into the adopted Council Decision on the signature of the agreement between the United States of America and the European Union on the use and transfer of passenger name records to the United States Department of Homeland Security (EU-US PNR). The Commission has four-months to decide whether to accept our application and we await its response.
Immigration Controls: Crimes against Humanity
Mr Raab: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people who applied for residency in the UK have subsequently gone on to face prosecution for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes (a) in the UK, (b) in another EU member state or (c) before an international criminal court since May 2003. 
Information available centrally to the Ministry of Justice on defendants proceeded against, found guilty and sentenced for criminal offences in England and Wales is limited to the detail provided by the statutes under which proceedings are brought, but not all the specific circumstances of each case. From centrally held data it is not possible to separately identify a defendant's immigration status or whether a defendant had previously applied for residency in the United Kingdom.