Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the answer of 12 July 2012, Official Report, columns 432-3, on renewables obligation, what the evidential basis is for his statement that 20,000 jobs have been created in renewables in the last year. 
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Gregory Barker: This figure is based on publically available information from sources such as trade press collected by the Department in the 2011-12 financial year period. It also incorporates responses from developers and supply chain companies following an invitation for companies to share information of investments, contracts awarded and jobs created. It is therefore not a definitive list of the renewables market activity for this period, but indicates the continuing realisation of growth and investment opportunities in the UK renewables sector.
Gregory Barker: DECC's Restats database holds data on the status of large-scale renewable electricity generation projects. The completion date is not captured so it is not possible to tell which projects were completed in (a) 2010 and (b) 2011, however the date on which generation commenced is recorded.
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to his Department's UK Renewable Energy Roadmap, July 2011, what estimate his Department has made of (a) capacity in operation, (b) electricity generated in the most recent year for which figures are available, (c) the central range of deployment by 2020 and (d) capacity in the existing pipeline for (i) hydro power, (ii) geothermal power and (iii) solar power. 
|Installed capacity (MW)||Electricity generated (GWh)|
|Source: Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics (DUKES) 2012, table 6.4.(1)|
The Renewable Energy Roadmap sets out central ranges for deployment (c) of eight key technologies by 2020. The eight technologies have been identified as those most likely to help meet our 2020 renewable energy target or which could make a major contribution in the decades that follow.
Hydropower, geothermal and solar power were not included in the eight key technologies. However, we estimated in the Renewables Roadmap that “other technologies” (including hydro, geothermal, solar and domestic heat) could provide a total of up to 14TWh of generation in 2020 under our central range.
|Capacity in the pipeline (MW)|
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|Source: DECC's Restats database, Reporting Data Sheet for July 2012.(2)|
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to paragraph 3.126 of his Department's UK Renewable Energy Roadmap, July 2011, what the planning approval rate was for electricity from waste projects in each of the last five years. 
Gregory Barker: The tables set out data from the Renewable Energy Planning Database(1) which show approval rates from municipal and industrial waste projects in the last five years. Table 1 is based on the number of projects, and Table 2 shows the total capacity of projects.
Applications and approvals relate to year of original determination.
|Table 1: Approval rates of energy from waste projects|
|Number of applications determined||Of which number of applications approved||% approval|
|Table 2: Approval rates of energy from waste installed capacity|
|MW of applications determined||Of which MW of applications approved||% approval|
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change with reference to his Department's UK Renewable Energy Roadmap, July 2011, figure 2, for what reason there is no individual central view of deployment in 2020 for (a) hydro power, (b) geothermal power and (c) solar power. 
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Gregory Barker: The Renewable Energy Roadmap, published in July 2011, gave detailed deployment projections for those technologies which were viewed at the time as most important to delivery of our commitments under the renewable energy directive. That decision was based on cost-effectiveness and expected levels of deployment in the UK to 2020 and beyond.
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many tonnes of carbon dioxide were displaced by renewable electricity generation in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) Scotland and (d) Wales in 2011. 
|CO2 displaced by electricity generated from renewable energy projects (thousand tonnes)|
These figures were calculated using the total amount of electricity generated by renewable projects in each country in 2011 multiplied by an estimate of the amount of carbon dioxide emissions per GWh of electricity supplied for a combination of fossil fuels (which is based on the known fossil fuel mix for electricity generation in the UK in 2011).
Renewable Energy: Feed-in Tariffs
Caroline Flint: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change pursuant to the Oral Statement of 24 May 2012, Official Report, columns 1303-7, on the feed-in tariffs scheme, (1) what his Department's central projection is of the deployment of solar PV by 2020; 
Gregory Barker: The information on the Department's central projections and its evidential basis for the deployment of solar PV to 2020 can be found in the Impact Assessment for the Government's response to the Feed in Tariff Phase 2a Consultation at the following link:
Warm Home Discount Scheme: North Yorkshire
Andrew Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how many people he estimates will receive the Warm Homes Discount in (a) Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency and (b) North Yorkshire in 2012-13. 
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include over one million of the poorest pensioners receiving a £130 discount on their electricity bills in 2012-13. Regional or constituency breakdowns for the data are not available.
Nicholas Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent discussions he has had with the government of Denmark on the economics of (a) onshore and (b) offshore wind farms. 
Mr Hayes: None, given my recent arrival as Minister of State for Energy. However I am keen to understand the experience of wind and wider energy development in other countries and their perspectives on the UK market. I look forward to meeting Ministers and investors from Denmark and many other countries.
AgustaWestland: Vector Aerospace
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to the answer of 23 April 2012, Official Report, column 714W, on AgustaWestland, when officials in his Department were first notified of AgustaWestland's intent not to renew Vector Aerospace's sub-contracts for support for Lynx and Sea King helicopters. 
Mr Robathan [holding answer 5 September 2012]: Ministry of Defence officials were first briefed that AgustaWestland did not intend to renew Vector Aerospace's sub-contracts for Sea King and Lynx component repair during a routine meeting on 30 September 2011. Discussions were subsequently held to better understand this intent and to secure assurances regarding ongoing affordability and contract performance.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what near miss incidents involving military aircraft and (a) UK nuclear installations and (b) critical national infrastructure were reported to his Department in each year since May 2004; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the report on each such incident. 
Armed Forces Compensation Scheme
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Armed Forces: Education
Mr Francois [holding answer 5 September 2012]: As part of a range of tests to determine their suitability, all Army applicants undergo an initial assessment of their literacy and numeracy skills, including English speaking and listening skills, during the selection process. This is irrespective of their entry level, location and any qualifications they currently hold.
Armed Forces: Officers
Mr Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) infantry, (b) cavalry, (c) artillery, (d) engineer and (e) special forces officers have left the army within two years of commanding their regiments since 2007. 
Armed Forces: Recruitment
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department made of the socio-economic groups from which entrants to each rank in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Air Force and (c) Royal Navy are drawn; and if he will publish available data on this matter. 
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Scottish Qualification Authority qualifications are recognised as equivalent to English qualifications in the Army recruitment process. 
Armed Forces: Redundancy
Richard Graham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what resources are available to members of the armed forces who are made redundant to assist them in finding new employment; and what plans he has for the future level of those resources. 
Mr Francois: All those made redundant will qualify for the level of resettlement assistance associated with their length of service, and the engagement they could have expected to complete had they not been made redundant. This assistance is specifically designed to assist in finding new employment. The majority of those made redundant will qualify for the Full Resettlement Programme which comprises:
a three-day Career Transition Workshop;
the use of a career consultant;
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access to a job finding service;
up to 35 days retraining time;
funding of up to £6,534;
access to a wide range of accredited vocational training courses and workshops;
resettlement support up to two years after leaving.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what has been paid in redundancy compensation to those made redundant (a) voluntarily and (b) compulsorily in (i) Tranche 1, (ii) Tranche 2 and (iii) Tranche 3 of the Armed Forces Redundancy Programme in each of the services. 
Mr Francois: The Armed Forces Redundancy Programme is ongoing and the total costs in respect of redundancy compensation payments will not be known for some time. However, the costs in respect of tranche 1, representing 2,835 personnel, amount to some £102 million.
Armed Forces: Young People
Alex Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many recruits to the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force were aged 16 at enlistment, for each of the last 10 financial years for which figures are available; 
|Financial year||All services||Naval service||Army||RAF|
|Note: All numbers are rounded to the nearest five. Due to the rounding methods used totals may not equal the sum of the parts.|
|Financial year of intake||Number of 16 year olds joining the Infantry|
|(1) Provisional figures which could be subject to review.|
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Due to the ongoing validation of the Joint Personnel Administration System all Army data from 1 May 2009 are provisional and subject to review. Figures have been rounded to 10; numbers ending in “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.
|'—' Denotes zero or rounded to zero. Note: Data have been rounded to the nearest 10. Numbers ending in “5” have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.|
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for how many years his Department leased helicopters for use in Belize; and if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of such leases. 
Mr Robathan: The Ministry of Defence leased helicopters in support operations at the British Army Training Support Unit Belize (BATSUB) for eight years (between 2003 and 2011) at a cost of some £24 million (excluding VAT).
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 16 July 2012, Official Report, column 512W, on defence equipment, if he will publish a list of his Department's initiatives aimed at better understanding the risks of fraud; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Francois: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) participates fully in the Cabinet Office agenda to tackle fraud. The MOD is currently establishing a new counter fraud post at senior civil service level to take forward recommendations to make the MOD a more joined-up organisation for assessing and managing the risks of fraud.
Mr Francois: Electronic intelligence (ELINT) is used within the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces for a variety of purposes. We do not hold any central record of the number of civilian personnel involved in its analysis, as it may be a significant or minor part of their job.
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Mr Robathan: The three strands of defence co-operation with France set out in the Lancaster House treaties of 2010 remain on track and we continue to work closely with the French Government and armed forces at all levels.
Our military to military links are being reinforced by the arrival of additional exchange officers in France and their counterparts in the UK. Exercise Corsican Lion in October 2012 will be a major naval exercise that will demonstrate the combined power of both nations' armed forces and help to enhance interoperability.
In July we signed two agreements with France to enable co-operation on Unmanned Air Systems (drones). Other areas of equipment co-operation include missiles, maritime mine countermeasures, A400M transport aircraft support, satellite communications, and submarine technologies.
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We continue to make progress on the second treaty relating to collaboration on hydro-dynamics research. The planned Teutates Technology Development Centre, is to be built at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Aldermaston, and the Teutates Epure facility, is to be built in Valduc, France. These have now moved from the concept phase to the assessment phase with "initial gate" approval. We expect they will be operational from 2015.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many contracts his Department has held with G4S in each of the last five years; and what the (a) purpose, (b) monetary value and (c) location of stationed guards for each such contract was. 
|Contract number||Contract title||Start date||End date||Contract value (£)|
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|Contract number||Contract title||Guarding locations|
Mr Robathan [holding answer 6 September 2012]: The Ministry of Defence (MOD) contracts database lists no contracts that have been awarded to G4S for activities undertaken at Colchester Garrison within the last 10 years.
Mr Robathan: We have no reason to change the assessment made by Wessex Archaeology in 2009 that it is unlikely that bullion or other cultural assets of monetary value, with the exception of cannon, exist at the site. We have made no estimate of their potential value.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether Ministers in his Department sought advice from marine archaeologists on Marine Heritage Foundation's involvement with the site of HMS Victory 1744; 
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(2) what his Department's policy is on the de-accession of historic naval and military artefacts; and what assessment he has made of whether Odyssey Marine Exploration's policy on de-accessioning artefacts from the site of HMS Victory 1744 is in conformity with his Department's policy; 
Mr Francois: I refer the right hon. Member to the reply given by my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Defence, Lord Astor of Hever, in the other place on 22 May 2012, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA49.
The Government is currently considering a proposal by the Foundation for work on the wreck site, informed by a recommendation by the Advisory Group. In addition, we have received representations from a wide range of interested parties. I hope to be able to announce the Government's decision shortly.
Sir Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had meetings with members of the Israeli Government in each of the last five years. 
This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Israel is an important strategic partner of the UK and, as part of that relationship, the Ministry of Defence has an ongoing and wide ranging dialogue with the Israeli Defence Force and Israeli Ministry of Defence. This engagement is in line with Her Majesty's Government,
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policy of supporting the middle east peace process by having a balanced relationship with the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft
Mrs Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the US administration on UK involvement in the testing of mission systems for the F35 Joint Strike Fighter; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what discussions he has had with his counterparts in the US administration on access to data recorded from mission systems of the F35 Joint Strike Fighter during flight to allow post-flight analysis; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) pursuant to the answer of 10 July 2012, Official Report, column 202W, on military aircraft, what level of autonomy the UK will have over the operation of mission systems for the F35 Joint Strike Fighter; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Robathan: As the only Tier 1 partner who has invested $2 billion in the Lightening II development, the UK is involved in the design and development of the F35 aircraft, including its mission systems. We have ensured that the design and integration of the aircraft's mission systems meets our requirements. The UK has been directly involved with the aircraft development flight test programme and has access to data generated by the aircraft's mission systems for post flight analysis. When the aircraft enters UK service we will have full autonomy over the operation of the mission systems.
Mr Robathan [holding answer 7 September 2012]: The Royal Navy (RN) assists a wider defence support to Her Majesty's Government counter-narcotics efforts. The RN has previously engaged in counter-narcotics operations, often alongside international partners, in the Caribbean, Atlantic and Indian oceans and will engage according to the appropriate conventions where there is a clear legal basis to do so.
The Royal Navy, including the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA), plays a significant role in international counter-piracy operations. The EU's Operation Atalanta headquarters is based at Northwood, London and its operational commander is British.
The UK also provides the 1* commander and a ship to the US-led Combined Maritime Force (CMF), which conducts counter piracy operations as part of its maritime security role. The Royal Navy also provides naval assets where possible to deter and disrupt pirates at sea. In January this year, RFA Fort Victoria interdicted 14 suspected pirates, who have been successfully prosecuted in the Seychelles.
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George Freeman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether his Department has any plans to (a) organise and (b) be involved in trials to assess the potential effects of wind turbines under 15 metres in height on military radar; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) whether he has had recent discussions with representatives of industry on the potential effects of wind turbines under 15 metres in height on military radar; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) whether he has had recent discussions with his (a) US and (b) French counterparts on the potential effects of wind turbines under 15 metres in height on military radar; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) with reference to the answer to the right hon. Member for East Yorkshire of 14 March 2012, Official Report, column 328W, on radar: wind power, whether the trial scheduled for July 2012 in relation to interference caused by wind turbines will assess the difference between turbines above and below 15 metres in height; and if he will make a statement. 
Wind farm developers are responsible for mitigating the effects of interference caused by wind farm turbines to military radars. These discussions have not specifically focused on wind turbines under 15 metres in height.
The trial scheduled at the Remote Radar Head Trimingham for July was delayed due to insufficient wind turbines being constructed at the offshore wind farm. The trials have been rescheduled for later in the year.
Royal Army Medical Corps
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the five-year time restriction on academic qualifications for the Army Medical Corps is applicable to recruits outside Scotland. 
Mr Francois [holding answer 5 September 2012]: The Royal Army Medical Corps covers a wide range of specialisms, each of which will have its own entry requirements by way of academic qualifications. Scottish educational qualifications are fully recognised as equivalent to English qualifications in the Army recruitment process.
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Territorial Army (TA) soldiers are not adversely affected by his Army 2020 plans for increased reliance on the TA. 
Mr Francois: I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made by the Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), on 5 July 2012, Official Report, column 66WS, in which he said that delivering the step-change in the size and role of Reserves will require a change in the relationship between Defence, the employer and the Reservist. Employers play a key role in enabling reservists to take their place in the defence of the nation, but we need a new framework of partnership with public and private sector employers that gives us the confidence that trained reservist manpower will be available when it is needed. We are examining how this might work through, for instance, the ‘Partnering for Talent’ programme, which seeks to identify clear business benefits for employers who support the Reserves.
The public sector is already a major employer of Reservists and should set an example. Cross-Government work, led by the Head of the Civil Service, is promoting the benefits of employing Reservists within Government and will take the lead on positive employer support of reservists. In addition, the Ministry of Defence works closely with the National Employers Advisory Board.
A Green Paper, setting out our proposals, is currently being prepared in order that consultation can take place during the autumn. This consultation will enable employers of Reservists to comment to the Ministry of Defence on the desired future relationships between employers and Reservists. It is intended that a new employer engagement strategy will follow thereafter.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his announcement of 18 July 2012 on simplification of veterans' disability payments, whether the payments will be equivalent to the amount which would have been paid under disability living allowance for (a) serious injury and (b) mental health. 
Mr Francois: Payments made to injured service personnel who are in receipt of an award from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme for a serious injury (including mental health) will, under the simplification of veterans' disability payments, continue to be at least the same amount as they are currently receiving under disability living allowance.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his announcement of 18 July 2012 on simplification of veterans' disability payments, whether the arrangements will be applied retrospectively; and to what extent. 
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Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his announcement of 18 July 2012 on simplification of veterans' disability payments, what definition he plans to use of a serious injury. 
Mr Francois: Under the new arrangements, seriously injured serving personnel and veterans will be those who receive an award from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme which includes payment at tariff levels 1-8 or entitlement to a guaranteed income payment of 50% or higher.
Stephen Pound: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy that no autonomous weapons systems will be deployed in any operational theatre by UK armed forces without a prior report to Parliament. 
Mr Robathan: The UK does not currently have any autonomous weapons systems—people are always involved in the decision-making process. All command decisions are, and will continue to be, based on Rules of Engagement which ensure adherence to the international laws of armed conflict.
Developing Countries: Financial Services
Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what commitments were made at the Global Hunger Event on 12 August; and how the Government intend to follow up on those commitments. 
Justine Greening: The UK Government agreed to support new schemes to improve real-time information on nutrition in developing countries, including through piloting text messaging; and committed £120 million over three years to the international agricultural research network CGIAR.
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Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
Jonathan Ashworth: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) whether she plans to increase the UK's commitment to the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria above its 2012-13 level; 
(2) if she will commit the UK to doubling its 2012-13 commitment to the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and if she will set a specific date on which she will make an announcement of the Government's future policy towards the Global Fund. 
Justine Greening: The former Secretary of State for International Development announced to the International Development Committee on 17 April 2012 that the UK would contribute £128 million to the Global Fund in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
The announcement of future funding intentions will take place once the Global Fund has completed its reform process and the Department for International Development (DFID) concludes its own assessment through the Multilateral Aid Review.
Deputy Prime Minister
Karl McCartney: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister with reference to section 10(4) of the Parliamentary Voting and Constituencies Act 2011, whether the forthcoming report by the Boundary Commission concerning revisions for UK parliamentary elections will be submitted to Mr Speaker before 1 October 2013. 
Under the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies (PVSC) Act 2011, each of the four boundary commissions are required to submit a report setting out their final recommendations for parliamentary constituencies in their area to the Government before 1 October 2013.
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January 2012, the four boundary commissions advised as follows on the progress of the boundary review in their area:
“...we are on course to deliver our report on the review to the Deputy Prime Minister before the statutory deadline of “before 1st October 2013.”.”
“At present, we anticipate that we will meet our statutory deadline to report to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland “before 1 October 2013.”.”
“We remain confident that we will be able to submit our report to the Secretary of State before the statutory deadline of 1 October 2013.”
“We are confident that the final recommendations will be published on or before 1 October 2013.”
Work and Pensions
Personal Independence Payments
22. Annette Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has had with organisations representing people with disabilities on the draft assessment criteria for personal independence payments. 
During the initial informal consultation on the criteria my predecessor as Minister for Disabled People, my hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Maria Miller), and officials met 60 user-led organisations and representative groups and received 170 written responses.
UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People
Esther McVey: My Department is leading work developing Fulfilling Potential, a new cross-Government disability strategy in partnership with disabled people, based on the principles of the UN convention. It aims to enable disabled people to fulfil their potential and have opportunities to play their full role in society.
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Youth Unemployment: London
Mr Hoban: We announced the Day 1 Support for Young People trailblazer in August 2012. This scheme jointly developed with Greater London Authority, will provide further support to young people with a limited work history at the start of their benefit claim. The Youth Contract will also provide additional support to young unemployed people nationally over the next three years.
Disabled People: Media Portrayal
Esther McVey: We fully appreciate how important the portrayal of disabled people in the media is. That is exactly why I am working with disabled people and their organisations on producing a new disability strategy. One of the key areas looks at the portrayal and positive attitudes and behaviours towards disabled people.
Mr Hoban: The Youth Contract was successfully launched in April 2012. We have more staff to advise young people how to prepare for work, funding to provide more training and work experience places and wage incentives to encourage employers to hire unemployed young people from the Work programme.
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Tom Greatrex: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the contribution of the Minister of State of 4 September 2012, Official Report, column 43WH, on Atos Healthcare, if he will place in the Library a copy of the full National Audit Office report. 
Mr Hoban: This National Audit Office report has been released to DWP management to verify the accuracy and completeness of the information contained in it. The report remains the property of the National Audit Office and as such cannot be published by DWP.
Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the names are of the stakeholders he expects to take part in quarterly stakeholder meetings as part of his Department's work to monitor its disability strategy. 
Esther McVey: The Government will shortly publish ‘Fulfilling Potential, Next Steps’, which outlines our next steps based upon the issues and ideas disabled people have told us about, and ‘Fulfilling Potential, The Discussions So Far’, which summarises what disabled people have told us, and outlines actions already planned, and activities already under way across Government.
We continue to work with disabled people and a wide range of disability organisations to further develop and deliver our strategy. We will ensure that appropriate structures that involve disabled people are in place to monitor the positive outcomes for disabled people.
Flexible New Deal
Mr Hoban: It has not been possible to make a reliable estimate of the average cost to the public purse of a successful applicant on the Flexible New Deal. This is because the published information regarding the cost of Flexible New Deal is inclusive of costs not directly related to the operations of the programme, for example, fees paid to providers on its termination. The short duration of the programme meant that not all participants in the programme had the opportunity to achieve an outcome.
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Mr Hoban: On 15 March 2012 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) published information on the reassessment of incapacity benefits claimants to employment and support allowance (ESA) on a national level for the first time. The report can be found at the following link:
A date for the next release is not yet available. As for all DWP Official Statistics, once a release date exists this is pre-announced on the UK Statistics Authority publication hub in accordance with Code of Practice for Official Statistics. This can be found at the following link:
New Enterprise Allowance
Mr Hoban: The new enterprise allowance scheme has been available across Great Britain since the end of August 2011. The support measure will run until 2013 and there are currently no plans to extend the scheme beyond that date.
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consideration he has given to extending the new enterprise allowance scheme to those who claim employment and support allowance. 
Self-employment can be a route off benefits for people on employment and support allowance. Other sources of support, such as enterprise clubs, may be available to them. In addition, self-employment support may be available through work choice, and work programme providers will be free to support their claimants to set up a business.
Personal Independence Payments
Esther McVey: Ten organisations were appointed to the Health and Disability assessment services framework and were eligible to submit tenders to deliver personal independence payment assessments. On 21 May 2012 a total of 19 bids were submitted from six organisations across the four Lots. All bids received were compliant.
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Esther McVey: The Remploy People Help and Support Package (PHSP) is the Government's key process for delivering tailored support to those disabled people becoming redundant as a result of the announcement on the future of Remploy. £8 million has been made available to fund the delivery of PHSP across the UK.
We have allocated £4 million of this fund for personal budgets, which will make funding available for each disabled person affected by redundancy, to provide additional support where other sources of funding are unavailable. The personal budget is an element of the support package, and will be accessed via the personal case worker.
Mr Hoban: The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, my right hon. Friend the Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith), and the Secretary of State for Scotland, the right hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), meet regularly to discuss a range of topics.
Social Security Benefits: Assessments
Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information his Department holds on the number of cases where people have committed suicide and a coroner has linked their suicide with their benefit assessment. 
Social Security Benefits: Brigg
Mr Hoban: Statistics on how many people in Brigg and Goole constituency who have had their benefit withdrawn for refusing to work since May 2010 are only available for jobseekers allowance (JSA) claimants, which are shown in the following table.
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|Number of JSA claimants in Brigg and Goole constituency who have had a sanction applied for refusing employment: 1 May 2010 to 30 April 2012|
|Area||Number of JSA claimants|
|Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Refusal of employment is a varied length sanction. 3. Varied Length Sanctions: A sanction of between one week and 26 weeks is imposed for leaving employment voluntarily without just cause, refusing employment without good cause, or losing employment through misconduct. The actual period in each case is at the discretion of the adjudication officer who makes the decision. 4. Geographies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant postcode directory. Boundaries are as at the reference date. Source: DWP Information, Governance and Security Directorate: JSA Sanctions and Disallowance Decisions Statistics Database.|
Statistics on how many people in Brigg and Goole constituency have had their benefit withdrawn for refusing to work since May 2010 for non-JSA claimants are not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Social Security Benefits: British Nationals Abroad
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what rules apply to the UK (a) benefits claimable and (b) requirements to register for benefits in respect of persons undertaking paid seasonal employment overseas who subsequently return to the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hoban: Contributory benefits are payable to anyone who satisfies the contribution and other conditions for the benefit. Generally someone would need to have been working and paying national insurance in the UK for around two years to qualify for contributory benefits. It is possible under the European Union social security regulations to take account of the contributions paid in another member state to help meet the contribution conditions of the benefits. Someone claiming for a contributory benefit would need to provide evidence of employment and contributions which have been made.
However, someone returning from abroad would be required to satisfy the habitual residence test to claim income-related benefits. The habitual residence test has two elements: a legal right to reside and an objective assessment of factual evidence of habitual residence. British national's have a right of abode in the UK and therefore a legal right to reside. If a person has returned to the UK the decision maker will ask a range of questions about whether someone has an attachment to the UK and have an intention to stay and ask the claimant to provide evidence to establish factual habitual residence. Each case is treated on its own merits, in the light of the person's individual circumstances.
Social Security Benefits: Fraud
DWP does not use lie detector tests to identify benefit fraud. DWP has carried out extensive trials of Voice Risk Analytics (VRA), within Jobcentres but primarily with the help of local authorities. The results were inconclusive, so no further action was taken. DWP
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has not deployed VRA outside of this pilot and has no plans to do so. Local authorities are autonomous and not bound by DWP policy. Some continued to deploy VRA after the pilot ended.
Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if his Department will provide information to consumers on steps to avoid high charges for calling customer helplines operated by his Department and its public bodies from mobile telephones. 
Mr Hoban: The Department's strategy is that calls to claim benefit or to request emergency payments should be free to customers, so it uses 0800 free phone numbers for these calls. The Department has secured agreements to ensure that it is free to call its 0800 numbers via nine of the UK's largest mobile phone operators, representing 95% of the mobile market. We are continuing to work with the remaining mobile phone providers to negotiate free calls to DWP 0800 numbers.
The Department uses 0845 telephone numbers where its customers call for other reasons, and these are calls that typically take less time to resolve. The charges that apply to these calls will be set by the customer's mobile operator.
The 0800 and 0845 numbers are clearly signposted to customers for the services that they wish to access and the service is organised so that the customer is routed to the best agent to help with their call. The Department also provides “Customer Access Phones” in a large number of its Jobcentre Plus offices where customers can make benefit claims or pursue job applications and the customer does not have to pay when using these facilities. The Department also encourages its customers to use online facilities as an alternative to calling its 0800 and 0845 services. The Department does not use any premium rate numbers.
The Department is aware of the financial difficulties of its most vulnerable customers. A ‘Call-Back' service is available on all of its 0800/0845 numbers, whereby if a caller expresses a concern about the cost of their call the operator is able to offer to call the customer back to complete the call.
Stephen McPartland: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of (a) the number of helplines operated by his Department and its public bodies which use 08 telephone numbers, (b) the number of calls made to such helplines in the latest period for which figures are available and (c) the total cost to consumers of such calls. 
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these numbers via nine of the UK's largest mobile telephone operators representing 95% of the mobile market.
The charges that apply to calls to its 0845 numbers will vary depending on service provider, the caller's personal contract, and the time of day at which the call is made. The Department does not hold all of this information and therefore it is not possible to provide a figure for the total cost to customers of calls to 0845 numbers.
British Telecom, the largest landline provider, does not charge for landline calls to 0845 numbers where the customer has a Call Plan and the call is made within the call plan times. Where this is not the case charges are either 2p or 4p per minute. Other landline providers charge between 3p and 10p per minute for a daytime call to an 0845 number. For calls from mobile telephones the average charge rate is around 30p per minute based on analysis of mobile call tariffs.
The Disability Living Allowance Advisory Board, Equality 2025, Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, National Employment Savings Trust, Pensions Ombudsman and the Social Security Advisory Committee do not operate 0845 telephone numbers.
With the exception of an 0845 number, which is used for the telephone reporting of fatal and major injuries to Jobcentre Plus, HSE does not operate any 08 telephone numbers. This number is not a helpline and is used strictly for the reporting of fatal and major injuries to HSE, which is a legal requirement.
|Helpline||Calls in W/C 27 August 2012|
Ofcom lists the customer call charge for these numbers typically as being between 1p and 10.5p per minute depending on the time of day; however it is free from some BT landlines depending on their call plan. Mobile phone charges are generally higher at approximately 12p and 41p per minute.
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|Helpline||Calls in W/C 27 August 2012|
|Helpline||Calls in W/C 27 August 2012||Calls in August 2012|
|Number of calls||Weeks||Average per week|
0300: Local rate call/or inclusive minutes taken from tariff landline or mobile.
0845: National rate call (costs vary if calling from mobile-provider-contract type telephone)
0800: Free (costs vary if calling from mobile-provider-contract type telephone).
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Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what savings to the Exchequer under universal credit he estimates will result from (a) the reduction compared with jobseeker's allowance rates for couples under 25 and (b) the reduction compared with employment and support allowance rates for single people under 25 entitled to the disability element of universal credit. 
The UC rates will be decided and published when we lay UC regulations in the autumn. Overall it is estimated that benefit expenditure will be around £2 billion higher once universal credit is fully implemented
Mr Hoban: We are introducing a tailored system of earnings disregards under universal credit. It will be generally higher than under the current benefit system in order to improve households' incentives to enter work.
Based on the Department's current estimates, the cost of increasing earnings disregards further by £200 per annum for all households in universal credit would cost in the region of £400 million per annum in 2012-13 prices. This is consistent with the analysis published in the Universal Credit Impact Assessment.
Work Capability Assessment
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the minimum length of time is between an applicant winning an appeal for employment and support allowance and having to attend their next work capability assessment. 
Mr Hoban: Where someone appeals against a disallowance decision, the tribunal considers the evidence, the law, and the claimant's circumstances at the time of that decision. If the appeal is upheld and the claimant is awarded employment and support allowance (ESA), they may still be required to attend a further work capability assessment (WCA) in the same way as any other claimant in receipt of ESA.
Where an appeal has been upheld, the date for the next WCA is decided by the decision maker. When determining the date, the decision maker will take into account the tribunal's recommendation, if any, the health care professional's advice from the previous assessment, and any medical evidence that has been submitted after the appeal was made.
Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals with mental health conditions have been identified at the time of work capability assessment since July 2011; and on how many occasions the services of mental function champions were made available to those individuals for assessment purposes. 
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Mr Hoban: The Department regularly publishes official statistics on employment and support allowance (ESA) and the work capability assessment (WCA). The latest report was published in July 2012 and can be found on the internet at the following link:
Table 7 of the publication mentioned above shows outcomes at initial functional assessment split into International Classification of Diseases (2010) Condition Groups, including mental and behavioural disorders.
All Atos health care professionals are fully trained and approved to assess people with mental health conditions. Professor Harrington recommended that Atos introduced champions in mental, intellectual and cognitive disabilities, who have undergone further specific training in these conditions and are able to spread best practice and knowledge, and help other health care professionals across the UK, (not the ESA individual claimant) with difficult assessments involving mental, intellectual or cognitive disabilities.
Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many mental function champions have been put in place to support the assessment of individuals with mental health conditions since their introduction in July 2011. 
Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals with identified mental health conditions for work capability assessment purposes who took their case to appeal had the services of a mental function champion made available since July 2011. 
Mr Hoban: Mental function champions (MFCs) have been in place on a regional basis since May 2011. It is not the role of the MFC to assess individual cases. They are expected to assist and advise health care professional (HCP) colleagues on how to deal with any aspect of a case involving mental function or learning disability. MFCs are available to provide telephone support to any HCP who wants further advice or guidance before, during or after the work capability assessment.
Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will ask Atos to cease informing their health professionals of the average rate at which claimants are placed into each group following a work capability assessment. 
Mr Hoban: The DWP contract with Atos Healthcare contains no targets, or expected range or distribution of advice to DWP decision makers for Work Capability Assessment outcomes. Atos Healthcare does not inform its health care professionals of average rates.
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Stephen Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the recommendation relating to the Work programme made by the CBI in July, what assessment he has made of the potential to allow providers to share comprehensive data with local authorities on performance and the jobseekers they support. 
Mr Hoban: Variations to Work programme contracts were introduced in June 2012. These variations give providers the discretion to share specified management information with local authorities, where confidentiality agreements have been put in place.
Air Passenger Duty
Damian Hinds: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of individuals who paid air passenger duty (a) directly, (b) as a company expense and (c) in total in the last 12 months. 
Sajid Javid: No estimates are available. Airlines, not passengers, are responsible for paying air passenger duty to HM Revenue and Customs. The published statistics on APD, including the total number of passengers for whom airlines were liable to pay APD, are available online here:
Crown Lands and Estates
Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Crown Estate's investment strategy for (a) 2011-12, (b) 2012-13 and (c) 2013-14; and if he will make a statement. 
Sajid Javid: As envisaged in the framework document setting out the Treasury's relationship with the Crown Estate, my officials meet the Crown Estate to discuss its investment strategy in general terms once a year. The agreed strategy is summarised in the Crown Estate's annual report, for example the current strategy is at pages 18-19 of the 2011-12 report.
Crown Lands and Estates: Greater London
Mr Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what property assets were sold by the Crown Estate in London boroughs by (a) borough and (b) size of asset in each year since 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
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|Borough||Property||Area (sq ft)|
Equitable Life Assurance Society: Compensation
Kwasi Kwarteng: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the Equitable Life Payment Scheme will respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Spelthorne (Kwasi Kwarteng) of 10 May 2012 on behalf of a constituent with an outstanding case. 
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Mr Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the monetary value was of the UK's contribution to the European Union in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; how much was paid to the UK in rebates in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. 
Greg Clark: Details of the UK's contributions to the EU since 1995, including gross and net contributions and the UK abatement, are published in the annual “European Union Finances” documents (“European Community Finances” before 2010). The current and past editions of these documents, from 2000 to 2012, are available in the House Library and on the Treasury's public website
EU Budget: Contributions
Greg Clark: Details of the UK's contributions to the EU since 1995, including net contributions, are published in the annual “European Union Finances” documents (“European Community Finances” before 2010). The current and past editions of these documents, from 2000 to 2012, are available in the House Library and on the Treasury's public website
Excise Duties: Fuels
Sajid Javid: The effects on the economy of fuel prices, including oil prices, refinery margins and tax, are assessed by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) as part of its economic and fiscal forecasts.
Mr Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to reduce the amount independent financial advisers are required to pay when claims are lodged against them; and if he will make a statement. 
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I have asked the FOS to write to the hon. Member about the issued raised. A copy of the response will be placed in the Library of the House.