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Written Answers to Questions
Wednesday 12 September 2012
House of Commons Commission
Mr Winnick: To ask the hon. Member for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, representing the House of Commons Commission, (1) what arrangements the House of Commons Commission plans to make for facilities in Committee rooms for hon. Members and visitors who are hard of hearing; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what arrangements the House of Commons Commission plans to make in rooms used for Select Committees for the hard of hearing when the meeting goes into private session; and if he will make a statement; 
John Thurso: There are induction loop facilities in all Committee rooms in the Palace and in all Committee and conference rooms on the first floor of Portcullis House. Portable equipment is available for the smaller meeting rooms in both buildings. Induction loop facilities are also provided in the Public Gallery of the House of Commons Chamber and in Westminster Hall Chamber.
When a Select Committee meets in public the induction loop facility is operational. When the meeting goes into private session, it is normal for the loop to be switched to private mode which prevents it transmitting a signal and thus eliminates the risk of the Committee's private deliberations being intercepted outside the room. It is possible to leave the loop switched on during a private session; the decision to do so is for the Committee chair.
Both the Parliamentary Labour Party and the 1922 Committee regularly hold meetings in Committee Room 14. The loop facilities in this room have been adapted to allow both fixed and roving microphone output to be broadcast through the loop. The decision to use this facility is for the chair of the meeting.
The House is committed to facilitating access and supporting people with disabilities in participating in House activities and continues to make improvements including to physical access, the provision of services and the educating of those providing those services. One of the four priority areas of the House's Diversity and Inclusion Scheme, launched in March 2012, is “Ensuring access and inclusion”, which covers the need to improve accessibility for disabled stakeholders including Members, staff and visitors to the parliamentary estate. The provision of facilities for those who are hard of hearing will be kept under review as part of this scheme.
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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department plans to compensate or provide relief to those affected by recent flooding in (a) Barnsley Central constituency, (b) South Yorkshire and (c) England and Wales. 
Richard Benyon [holding answer 6 September 2012]: With regard to the flooding across England in June and July, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my right hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr Pickles), activated the Bellwin scheme of emergency financial assistance to help local authorities with their immediate costs associated with protecting life and property in their areas. I am advised that Barnsley did not apply for these schemes and the deadline for registration has now passed.
Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether any other organisations offered to take over the running of the National Equine Database prior to the decision to close the database. 
Simon Hart: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what alternative arrangements his Department has put in place to facilitate information gathering currently undertaken by the National Equine Database. 
Mr Heath: The National Equine Database operates as a central repository of horse passport data, supplied by horse passport issuing organisations (PIOs). PIOs will continue to be required to collect and store horse passport data, which will remain available for regulatory and legal purposes.
Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the implications for the armed forces of reports of a fault with the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile's rocket motors; 
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(3) how many successful firings of the Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile have taken place for each model of missile and aircraft type it was fired from in each of the last eight years. 
Mr Dunne: The most recent Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) was delivered to the UK on 25 October 2006. The Ministry of Defence does not comment on the specific number of its weapons systems stockpiles as disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.
The AMRAAM system is subjected to regular and rigorous testing throughout its life. These weapons are not affected by an alleged fault on new production rocket motors that has been reported in the media. There are no plans to procure any additional AMRAAM systems, as they will be replaced in due course by the new Meteor missile that is in the final stages of development.
|Typhoon||Tornado F3||Sea Harrier|
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to publish data for 2012 relating to the number of services and civilian jobs directly and indirectly related to his Department's work in (a) each country and region of the UK and (b) elsewhere in the world. 
Mr Francois: Information on jobs indirectly related to the Ministry of Defence's work is not held. Civilian and service employment details directly related to the MOD's work in each country and region of the UK and overseas are published in the 1 July 2012 edition of the Quarterly Location Statistics (QLS) publication which was released on 16 August 2012 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
This is a quarterly publication presenting information on the stationed location of all UK regular service and civilian personnel by UK unitary authority and local authority area, as well as all international global locations. I have arranged for copies of the 1 July 2012 edition of the QLS to be placed in the Library of the House.
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http://www.dasa.mod.uk/applications/newWeb/www/index. php?page=48&pubType=0&thiscontent=120&PublishTime =09:30:00&date=:2012-08-16&disText=01%20July%202012& from=listing&topDate=2012-08-16
Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Satcom kits were purchased for the R1 Sentinel in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the average cost was per unit. 
Mr Dunne: Five satellite communications systems were purchased, one for each of the Sentinel R1 aircraft. An average cost per unit is not available. The prime contract to design, supply and support the aircraft did not require the costs of the satellite communications systems to be separately identified.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what equipment from Type 23 vessels will be transferred to Type 26 vessels; what the value is of such equipment; and what the cost will be of transferring such equipment. 
Mr Dunne: The Ministry of Defence plans to maximise the use of proven Type 23 (T23s) equipment in the future Type 26 Global Combat Ships (T26 GCS) to minimise cost and technical risk. This will include using, wherever possible, the physical transfer of equipment from the decommissioned T23s to the T26 GCS. The extent of this transfer is being explored as part of the ongoing T26 GCS Assessment Phase to ensure such an approach is best value for money for defence.
Defence Infrastructure Organisation
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people were employed by his Department's Defence Infrastructure Organisation in (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Wales in each year since 2011. 
Mr Francois: The number of people employed by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation in (a) Scotland, (b) England, (c) Northern Ireland and (d) Wales in each year since 2011 is shown in the following table:
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|1 April 2011||1 April 2012|
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what comparative assessment he has made of the (a) size of radar signature, (b) ability to penetrate hostile airspace at low level and (c) ability to land on rough short airstrips of the A400M and C-130J aircraft. 
Mr Dunne: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), on 19 June 2012, Official Report, column 935W. This highlighted the ongoing A400M Atlas multinational trial programme which will cover the ability of the aircraft to use rough landing strips. There is also a plan to assess the radar cross-section of the A400M Atlas; the radar cross-sections of the C-130J and K are already known. Once this study is complete, a comparative assessment of the A400M Atlas and both C-130 Hercules variants could be made. The ability of A400M Atlas to fly at low level is also being evaluated by Airbus. This information, when combined with the radar cross-section data, will allow an assessment to be made of the aircraft's ability to penetrate hostile airspace at low level.
Once these trials are completed by Airbus and the results evaluated, the outcome will be presented to A400M Atlas partner nations. They will collectively make an assessment of this information and whether the aircraft's performance meets the agreed requirement. No conclusions can yet be drawn in comparative terms of the performances of the A400M Atlas and C-130J Hercules.
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RAF Menwith Hill
Fabian Hamilton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether RAF Menwith Hill plays a role in the planning and deployment of drones in (a) Afghanistan, (b) Pakistan, (c) Yemen and (d) Somalia. 
Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average processing time was for enquiries received by (a) telephone, (b) email and (c) post at the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency in each of the last 24 months for which figures are available. 
It is not possible to provide the average processing time for letters and e-mails received by either the Joint Personnel Administration Centre (JPAC) or other functional areas within SPVA as the data for these are not held in this format.
|Month||Tel (Mins)||Letters (Working days)||E-mails (Working days)||Tel (Mins)|
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Jesse Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how his Department ensures that service personnel and veterans who use the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) are satisfied with the standard of service which they receive from the SPVA. 
In January each year, a random selection of some 13,000 veterans are invited to either complete a hard copy of the Veterans Survey or online via the Veterans UK website. The 2011 Veterans Survey recorded a 92% overall satisfaction with SPVA services.
The SPVA overall target for achievement of customer satisfaction is 80% with no less than 70% satisfaction in each of the three separate customer segments. The SPVA's combined assessment for 2011 was 84.22%.
Unmanned Air Vehicles
Mr Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost to the public purse will be of the new Unmanned Air Systems Capability Development Centre at Boscombe Down in each of the next five years. 
Mr Dunne: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by my predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Worcestershire (Peter Luff), on 3 September 2012, Official Report, column 72W, to the hon. Member for Moray (Angus Robertson).
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has for the development of unmanned aerial vehicle technology at Parc Aberporth; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Dunne: There are currently no plans for the Parc Aberporth facility to be used in the further development of unmanned air systems, following the completion of the flight trials of all Watchkeeper production aircraft in 2015.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) which ships will be upgraded under the Combat Management System Joint Support Solution; what systems will be installed on each ship; and when each such installation will (a) begin and (b) be completed; 
(2) if he will estimate the cost to the public purse of implementing the Combat Management System Joint Support Solution (a) in total and (b) for each vessel to be upgraded under that contract. 
Mr Dunne: The Combat Management System Joint Support Solution is a contract between the Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems Integrated Systems Technology Ltd, awarded in December 2010, which provides support for on-board Combat Systems by effectively managing spares and obsolescence.
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Mr Gauke: The Government aim to create the most competitive tax regime in the G20. The main rate of corporate tax has been reduced from 28% in 2010 to 24% in April this year, and will then fall to 23% in April 2013 and 22% in April 2014, when the UK will have the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7 and the fourth lowest in the G20.
Andrew Percy: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people in the smallest geographical area for which information is available will no longer pay income tax as a result of changes to the income tax threshold announced since May 2010. 
Mr Gauke: The June 2010 Budget announced a £1,000 cash increase in the income tax personal allowance for under 65s to £7,475 in 2011-12 (£820 above RPI indexation), with real-terms gains focused on basic rate taxpayers through a £1,400 cash reduction in the higher rate threshold in income tax.
The 2011 Budget announced a £630 cash increase in the personal allowance for under 65s to £8,105 in 2012-13 (£240 above RPI indexation), with an equivalent reduction in the basic rate limit to leave the higher rate threshold unchanged.
The 2012 Budget announced a £1,100 cash increase in the personal allowance for under 65s to £9,205 in 2013-14, (£850 above expected RPI indexation), along with a £2,125 reduction of the basic rate limit so that most higher rate taxpayers will get one quarter of the benefit a typical basic rate taxpayer will receive.
As a result of these measures, the Government estimate that 1.97 million of the lowest income taxpayers will be removed from tax altogether in 2013-14. Information at Government office region is provided in the following table:
|Government office region||Number taken out of income tax (thousand)|
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These estimates are based on the 2009-10 Survey of Personal Incomes, projected to 2013-14 using economic assumptions consistent with the Office for Budget Responsibility's March 2012 economic and fiscal outlook.
Roberta Blackman-Woods: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what information he has received from the Financial Services Authority on whether (a) sterling LIBOR and (b) other currency LIBOR rates have been affected by the actions of Barclays; 
(2) if he will take steps to ensure that suitable measures for redress will be made available to UK businesses mis-sold financial products based on LIBOR if banks are found to be guilty of rate manipulation. 
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the potential effects of the fixing of the LIBOR on the ability of UK banks to (a) remain solvent and (b) operate without payments from the public purse during 2008. 
Greg Clark: On 27 June the FSA fined Barclays Bank Plc (Barclays) £59.5 million for misconduct relating to the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR) between 2005 and 2008. This is the largest fine ever imposed by the FSA. Barclays was separately fined £230 million by the US regulatory authorities.
Such misconduct includes attempted manipulation. In some cases those attempts were to lower the final LIBOR rate, and in others they were to increase it. Such attempts may only have moved the overall LIBOR rate by a fraction of a percentage point, if at all. Consequently it is very difficult to establish any sort of net effect from the attempted manipulation.
The Government believe that this and other recent examples of misconduct in the banking sector are completely unacceptable. This is why the Government are taking action now, including comprehensive reform of the regulatory system.
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when his Department was first made aware of LIBOR fixing allegations; by whom; what immediate response it made; and if he will publish any associated correspondence or briefings held by his Department. 
Regulators in North America, Europe and Japan, including the Financial Services Authority (FSA) are currently investigating alleged manipulation of LIBOR and other leading international benchmark rates such
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as the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR) by other banks. HM Treasury cannot comment on individual cases or banks, or other aspects of current investigations, so as not to prejudice these inquiries in any way.
Hazel Blears: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to HM Revenue and Customs of enforcing national minimum wage legislation in relation to unpaid internships in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Caroline Nokes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what provision the Government have put in place for people over 75 seeking to remortgage who may be considered by banks and building societies to be high risk; 
Greg Clark: There is no law or FSA regulation stipulating a maximum age for mortgage borrowers. Under the FSA's rules, firms are required to provide a prompt, fair and efficient service to all their customers, regardless of their age.
Revenue and Customs: Chadwell Heath
HMRC also advised my hon. Friend the Member for Romford (Andrew Rosindell) and the hon. Member for Ilford South (Mike Gapes) about this change. Civil service trade unions were also notified of this proposal and noted the position.
Andrew Stephenson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations his Department has received on Santander transferring customers away from the free for life business banking account. 
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Greg Clark: Treasury Ministers and officials meet with, and receive representations from, a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the usual policymaking process. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such representations.
UK Trade and Investment
Mr MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what Barnett consequentials have been paid to Scotland in respect of resources allocated to UK Trade and Investment since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament. 
Danny Alexander: UK Trade and Investment is a UK-wide body which works for businesses across the UK, including in the devolved Administrations. As such, no Barnett consequentials have been paid to Scotland in respect of resources allocated to UK Trade and Investment since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament.
Before August 2011, HMRC did not specifically collect information on whether workers making complaints about non-payment of the minimum wage were interns. In 2011-12, 43 complaints were received from workers who stated that they were interns. This represents approximately 3% of the total number of complaints referred to HMRC from the Pay and Work Rights Helpline.
In response to extensive media commentary on the widespread abuse of workers' rights through the use of unpaid interns, HMRC commenced a multi-stranded approach to tackling non-compliance related to unpaid workers, including interns. This comprised working with the Pay and Work Rights Helpline to establish a fast- track process for dealing with all intern-related queries from workers across all trade sectors. Under this process all intern-related calls are being directed to the HMRC NMW Dynamic Response Team (DRT) for immediate action to establish the facts from workers and investigate the employers' practices in appropriate cases.
The second element of the approach was to carry out targeted enforcement activity within the fashion and TV/film production sectors. Follow-up action on this targeted enforcement is to be carried out in September and October 2012.
Work and Pensions
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Government agencies to persons previously in full-time employment who have undergone a reduction in their contracted hours to between 16 and 25 hours per week and who require secondary or alternative employment; 
(2) if he will take steps to provide assistance in job placement services to persons previously in full-time employment who have undergone a reduction in their contracted hours to between 16 and 25 hours per week and who require secondary or alternative employment. 
Mr Hoban: Jobcentre Plus provides a public-access employment service to jobseekers irrespective of their employment status or hours of work. This means people facing reduced hours already have access to the Jobcentre Plus national vacancy database. They can use Jobpoints in local Jobcentres or the DirectGov internet jobs search facility to identify opportunities for secondary or alternative employment.
This job search support will be enhanced later this year with the introduction of the new Universal Jobmatch service. This will make job search easier by automatically matching a jobseeker's CV, skills and requirements to jobs that suit their needs.
Support for people seeking to find more work or improve their prospects is under active consideration as part of the changes associated with the introduction of universal credit which will start to be introduced from next year.
Mr Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the number of people of each gender who have undergone a reduction in their contracted hours to between 16 and 25 hours per week as a result of employer downsizing operations who are (a) under 45 years old and (b) 45 years old or more. 
As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what recent estimate has been made of the number of people of each gender who have undergone a reduction in their contracted hours to between 16 and 25 hours per week as a result of employer downsizing operations who are (a) under 45 years old and (b) 45 years old or more. 120311
The requested information is not available.
The Labour Force Survey measures both the usual weekly hours worked and the actual hours worked by employed individuals. Respondents who are actually working fewer hours than usual or would like to work more hours than present are recorded. However, it is not possible to determine those who have had their usual hours reduced due to a change in contracted hours as a result of employer downsizing.
Employment Schemes: Young People
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the City of Edinburgh local authority area; and what proportion of such placements are with smaller employers. 
Mr Hoban: The youth contract went live in April 2012. It includes wage incentives to employers taking on young people attached to the Work programme and extra work experience and sector-based work academy placements.
In most cases wage incentives are paid after a young person has been in work continuously for 26 weeks. Following the collection and quality assurance of these data, I expect the first set of official statistics on wage incentive payment data to be available from early 2013. The Department is working to guidelines set by the UK Statistics Authority to ensure we publish statistics that meet high quality standards at the earliest opportunity.
|Work experience starts (April and May)|
|Sector-based work academy starts (April and May)|
|Note: All figures are rounded to the nearest 10.|
We do not routinely collect data on employers by size and neither do we require claimants to tell us which employer they have successfully found work with; therefore we do not know what proportion of placements are with small employers.
Independent Living Fund
Esther McVey: Prior to the launch of the ongoing consultation on the future of the independent living fund, the previous Minister for Disabled People, my right hon. Friend the Member for Basingstoke (Maria Miller), discussed our plans with Lesley Griffiths AM, the Minister for Health and Social Care in the Welsh Government. There has also been discussion at official level between DWP and the Welsh Government prior to and during the consultation process.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether it is his intention that when the administration of the independent living fund is transferred to the Welsh Government, its funding allocation will also be transferred. 
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Esther McVey: As set out in the consultation document on the future of the independent living fund, the Government's preferred position is that the independent living fund is closed in 2015 and that funding would be devolved to the Administrations in Wales and Scotland.
Pensions: Financial Assistance Scheme
(2) how many people have failed to repay in their lifetime the entire sum they owned to the Financial Assistance Scheme; how many such people have repaid more than the sum they owed to the scheme; and whether there has been a net loss or net gain to the public purse as a result; 
Steve Webb: 3,881 people are repaying money to the Financial Assistance scheme (FAS), of which 3,846 had their FAS assistance adjusted to take account of the overpayment. The remainder have no ongoing entitlement to FAS payments.
The information requested in respect of the number of people who have either failed to repay their FAS overpayment or overpaid an FAS overpayment is not available in the format requested. To date 99 members have died before repaying their FAS overpayment.
The FAS scheme manager recovers the overpayment over the lifetime of a member in the form of a notional annuity, which is calculated taking into account actuarial mortality assumptions (and other actuarial assumptions). If an individual member lives longer than predicted they will pay back more. However, the effect of the assumptions used is in general that more members will pay back less than they owe. This approach is in line with the general action taken by an occupational pension scheme, who on completion of winding up identify that a member has been overpaid. If members request they may pay back the overpayment as a lump sum.
Personal Independence Payments
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(5) whether the contract for delivery of the personal independence payment (PIP) includes any targets to reduce (a) the number of people who receive PIP and (b) the amount paid out through PIP. 
Esther McVey: Ten organisations were appointed to the Health and Disability Assessment Services Framework and were eligible to bid for the contract to deliver personal independence payment assessments. Of these, six organisations bid for the contract to deliver personal independence payment assessments; they were APM Ltd, Atos Origin, Avanta Enterprises Ltd, Capita Group plc, G4S Integrated Services (UK) Ltd and Vertex Ltd.
To date, the number of representations received regarding the award of the contract to deliver personal independence payment assessments to Atos Origin is seven. These representations have come from claimants, parliamentary questions, Freedom of Information requests and Members of Parliament.
We have built robust expectations of performance into the contracts with Atos Origin and Capita Group plc; these include a range of remedies which allow the Department to take action on minor, as well as more significant, poor performance.
In addition, within two years of go-live, an independent review will be carried out, along the lines of Professor Harrington's reviews of the work capability assessment. Redacted copies of the Atos Origin and Capita Group plc tender documents were published on Contracts Finder for the three Great Britain lots on 21 August. Copies of these will be placed in the Library.
The contracts awarded for the delivery of the personal independence payment (PIP) do not include any targets to reduce the number of people who receive PIP or the amount paid out through PIP. The only targets are based on the quality of assessments carried out. Assessment providers will not be paid according to the outcome of claimants' assessments or decisions on benefit entitlement. They will be paid for the production of fair and impartial assessments along with written and verbal medical advice, investment in new technology and other service improvements with associated fixed overheads and administrative costs.
The Department is aware of ongoing dialogue between Welsh officials, the local authority and Remploy regarding the site and its possible use to support social enterprise. Remploy continue to lead those discussions, as owners of the assets.
Social Security Benefits: Young People
Mr Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people aged (a) 19, (b) 20 and (c) 21 years were in receipt of (i) jobseeker's allowance, (ii) housing benefit and (iii) jobseeker's allowance and housing benefit in the latest period for which figures are available. 
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|Number of JSA claimants by age: February 2012|
|Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. The latest available data are at February 2012. 3. Figures include “credit” only cases. Source: DWP Information, Governance and Security, Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.|
|Number of HB claimants, including those who are in receipt of income-based JSA: May 2012|
|Age||HB claimants||HB claimants with income-based JSA|
|Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Age groups are based on the age on the count data (second Thursday in the month), of either: (a) the recipient if they are single, or (b) the elder of the recipient or partner if claiming as a couple. 3. Recipients are as at the second Thursday of the month. 4. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns. The data are available monthly from November 2008 and May 2012 are the most recent available. Source: Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE)|
Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people aged (a) 19, (b) 20 and (c) 21 years old were in receipt of (i) jobseeker's allowance, (ii) housing benefit and (iii) both jobseeker's allowance and housing benefit in (A) Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency, (B) the London borough of Bexley and (C) Greater London in the latest period for which figures are available. 
Information is available for those HB claimants whose claim is passported: that is for those who receive either income support, jobseeker’s allowance (income-based), employment and support allowance (income-based), or pension credit (guaranteed credit).
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The Department does collect information on those in receipt of JSA on the housing benefit data source (SHBE) but to assess the completeness of recording and quality assure the figures would incur disproportionate cost.
Information is not readily available for housing benefit recipients by age at parliamentary constituency level, and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. A one-off exercise was carried out on the January 2011 data to provide a parliamentary constituency breakdown. The results were published on the Department's website at:
|Number of JSA claimants for Bexleyheath and Crayford parliamentary constituency, the London borough of Bexley and London region by Age: February 2012|
|JSA claimants||London region||London borough of Bexley|
|Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. The latest available data are at February 2012. 3. Figures include “credit” only cases. Source: DWP Information, Governance and Security, Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.|
|Number of housing benefit claimants including those who are in receipt of income-based JSA for the London borough of Bexley and London region by Age: May 2012|
|HB claimants||HB claimants with JSA (income-based)|
|London region||London borough of Bexley||London region||London borough of Bexley|
|Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Age groups are based on the age on the count date (second Thursday in the month), of either: (a) the recipient if they are single, or (b) the elder of the recipient or partner if claiming as a couple. 3. Recipients are as at the second Thursday of the month. 4. SHBE is a monthly electronic scan of claimant level data direct from local authority computer systems. It replaces quarterly aggregate clerical returns. The data is available monthly from November 2008 and May 2012 is the most recent available. Source: Single housing benefit extract (SHBE)|
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Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the number of working families in Plymouth whose net benefit income will decrease upon the introduction of universal credit. 
However it is important to recognise that a package of transitional protection is being developed in order to ensure that there will be no cash losers as a direct result of the move to universal credit where circumstances remain the same.
Women and Equalities
Protection of Freedoms Act 2012
Mrs Moon: To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities pursuant to the answer of 11 July 2012, Official Report, column 282W, on Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, what progress she has made in introducing an application process for people seeking to clear their criminal records of a conviction for consensual homosexual sex; and if she will make a statement. 
The Home Office work to develop an application process to enable individuals to apply to have any convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands that meet the criteria as set out in part 5 of the protection of Freedoms Act 2012 disregarded is well advanced.
We are committed to implementing the application handling arrangements from 1 October, when the new provisions will be commenced. The arrangements have been developed in partnership with HM Courts and Tribunals Service, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Ministry of Defence.
Mrs Grant: I refer to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) on 11 September 2012, Official Report, column 183W. The Government are committed to marking Anti-slavery Day. Plans are still being considered and will be announced in due course.
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Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the highest number of drug rehabilitation orders is under community sentences or suspended sentence orders that have been given to an offender over the period of their offending history in each of the last three years. 
Jeremy Wright: From 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2010 the highest number of drug rehabilitation requirements under community sentences or suspended sentence orders that were given to an offender is estimated to be eight. In any one of these single years the highest number of drug rehabilitation requirements given to an offender is estimated to be six. It has not been possible to look at drug rehabilitation requirements over the course of the offending history without incurring significant costs.
The numbers in the paragraph above represent the maximum number of drug rehabilitation requirements given to an offender in either a single year, or over the course of three years. These figures are significantly higher than for any typical offender—the average number of drug rehabilitation requirements given to offenders under community sentences or suspended sentence orders over the three year period, and within each single year, is one.
Additionally, it is possible that these figures may slightly overestimate the number of distinct requirements given because of recording arrangements. For example, when dealing with a breach, the court can either amend the existing order to make it more onerous, or revoke the order and re-sentence the offender for the original offence. In the first case the existing order continues and in the second case the original sentence is replaced with a new sentence. Such outcomes could be recorded in such a way as to suggest that a new drug rehabilitation requirement had been imposed but this would be incorrect. It has not been possible to investigate if this has been the case without incurring disproportionate costs.
This information has been derived from records of probation commencements that in turn have been drawn from administrative IT systems which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.
Driving Offences: Insurance
(a) The number of uninsured vehicles in Great Britain has fallen to 1.2 million from 1.4 million in 2010 due to a combination of police enforcement activity (better detection through automatic number plate recognition equipment and seizure of uninsured vehicles) as well as the continuous insurance enforcement scheme.
(b) Since June 2011, action has been taken against those who keep a vehicle without insurance, known as the continuous insurance enforcement scheme. At 31 August 2012, 177,086 fixed penalty notices had been issued to registered keepers and 834 cases successfully prosecuted.
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We are also working with the insurance industry to allow it access to DVLA driver details on penalty points and disqualifications to help tackle fraud. The Government are concerned that the rising cost of insurance may tempt motorists to drive without insurance and are working closely with the insurance industry on measures which will help reduce premiums. An industry summit was held on 2 May on the cost of insurance and follow-up work is in progress.
Stephen Hammond: We have no plans, at present, to review the requirements relating to Segway Personal Transporters and other electric personal vehicles (EPVs) for use on the highway. EPVs are mechanically propelled vehicles and as such must be approved, registered, taxed and insured before they can be used on the road. In addition the rider would need the appropriate driving licence.
High Speed 2 Railway Line
|Financial year||Total expenditure (£ million)|
|(1) This figure includes spend up until the end of August 2012, as this is the most up-to-date information available.|
Motorways: Repairs and Maintenance
Stephen Hammond: The following table sets out the fatal and serious injuries from vehicle-related incidents which have been recorded on the motorway and trunk road network in England which is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Transport.
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Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has assessed the potential cost and safety benefits of the use of a traffic cone and laying system such as Conemaster on motorways in the UK. 
Stephen Hammond: In response to a request from the previous Minister for Roads, my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), a detailed independent review of the costs and benefits of using Conemaster was carried out by the Highways Agency during late 2011/early 2012. A report has been provided to all interested parties. A copy will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
The Conemaster system is a semi-automatic cone placement and retrieval system produced by Jordan Products Ltd. The purposes of Conemaster are to speed up the placement and removal of traffic cones and to reduce the risk of injury and death to roadworkers by reducing the need for them to set foot on live carriageways during temporary lane closures.
The independent report concluded that the estimated benefits of Conemaster vary from a benefits to costs ratio (BCR) of 0.29 (pessimistic) to 2.06 (central) and 2.69 (optimistic). This information has been provided to all contractors in the supply chain of the Highways Agency.
The success or otherwise of the Jordan Products Ltd machine depends on the business model applied and the safety benefits achievable from its use, as assessed by the competent people within the service providers who manage the HA network on behalf of the Secretary of State. It has always been made clear to Jordan Products Ltd that the Highways Agency cannot get directly involved in supporting the development of Conemaster or mandate the use of the Conemaster on the agency's network.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make it his policy to end the rail network franchising system and return to a single body responsible for rail services and track maintenance. 
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Mr Simon Burns: The Government's vision for the future of the railways is set out in the Rail Command Paper that was published on 8 March 2012. This does not involve the ending of the current franchising system.
Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many motorists were (a) killed and (b) seriously injured in sleep-related road traffic accidents in Barnsley Central since May 2010. 
Stephen Hammond: The number of persons killed or seriously injured in reported personal injury road accidents where “fatigue” was a contributory factor since May 2010 in the Yorkshire and the Humber region are as follows:
May 2010 to December 2010: five killed and 13 seriously injured; and
January 2011 to December 2011: five killed and 25 seriously injured.
Data for 2012 will be available in June 2013. These data are not broken down below regional level since the number of accidents is small and therefore it may be possible to identify the individuals involved in an accident.
Roads: Repairs and Maintenance
Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will discuss with the Highways Agency ensuring that its contractors use a traffic cone and laying system such as Conemaster. 
Stephen Hammond: The Highways Agency has carried out an independent review of the costs and benefits of using Conemaster, following discussions between the previous Minister for Roads, my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), the inventor of the machine (Mr Alan Jordan) and his constituency MP, the hon. Member for South Antrim (Dr McCrea). The results show that the benefits-to-costs ratio at mid range is 2.06. This information has been provided to all parties and communicated to the agency's contractors in its supply chain. It has been made clear to Mr Jordan in various meetings and in correspondence that it is for the companies in the agency's supply chain to consider the benefits of using such a product and not something that the agency can mandate. This matter has been fully explored and I do not consider that there is a need for any further ministerial discussions. A copy of the report has been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Traffic Lights: Bicycles
Norman Baker: We are currently taking forward plans to revise the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions. New measures such as cycle traffic lights will be considered as part of the revision.
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There are already ways of giving cyclists priority over other traffic and improving their safety at junctions, for example by introducing Advanced Stop Lines, cycle bypasses and providing segregated traffic signals for cyclists if required.
Communities and Local Government
Chris Leslie: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if he will estimate the yield for each local authority area should each local authority end its council tax exemptions for empty properties and void lettings in the next financial year. 
Council Tax Benefits
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what information his Department holds about (a) the claimant caseload in Brighton and Hove for the receipt of council tax benefit over the period from 2009-10 to 2011-12 and (b) the forecast council tax benefit claimant caseload in Brighton and Hove expected in 2012-13 and 2013-14; if he will make it his policy to take account of local authority forecasts of future claimant caseload in the calculation of the council tax support grant; and if he will make a statement. 
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published in May 2012, the overall allocation for council tax support will be based on the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast of council tax benefit expenditure for Great Britain in 2013-14. The final figures are due to be published in the autumn and will take account of claimant numbers adjusted in relation to identified trends in claimant numbers and level of council tax.
From April 2013, our reforms will localise council tax support and give councils stronger incentives to support local firms, cut fraud, promote local enterprise and get people back into work. Spending on council tax benefit doubled under the last Administration and welfare reform is vital to tackle the budget deficit we have inherited.
Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the new council tax support system on (a) council tax arrears (i) nationally and (ii) by local authority and (b) the resources needed by local authorities for arrears collection; whether his Department intends to provide local authorities with resources to (A) assess whether any people who cease to receive full council tax benefit and who subsequently fall into arrears are facing hardship and (B) help people in arrears to design and maintain a viable repayment plan; and if he will make a statement. 
Brandon Lewis: The Government are committed to ensuring that all net new burdens on local government are fully funded and do not intend the administration of local schemes to put pressure on local government finances. My Department has already provided £30 million to local authorities as an initial payment. The Government are therefore working with local authorities to assess the net impact of localisation of support for council tax, including the transitional costs of moving to the new arrangements, in accordance with the new burdens doctrine.
Fire Stations: Ambulance Services
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stations in England operate a co-response with the ambulance service; 
Mark Menzies: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps he is taking to protect greenfield sites from inappropriate housing development in areas where authorities are still developing their local plan. 
Nick Boles: The National Planning Policy Framework, published in March 2012, does not support unsustainable development regardless of whether or not an up-to-date plan is in place. The framework clearly sets out that applications should not be approved if the adverse impacts would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits; or if specific policies in the framework indicate that development should be restricted.
Housing: Milton Keynes
Mr Prisk: Figures for new house building completions in Milton Keynes in each of the last 16 quarters are shown in the following table. The source for these figures is the Government's National Statistics on House Building, which are themselves derived from building control data.
|Quarterly figures for house building completions in Milton Keynes|
|Financial year||Quarter||Private enterprise||Housing associations||Local authorities||All dwellings|
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Richard Fuller: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether his Department has estimated the level of reserves that have arisen from Section 106 monies that have been raised but have not yet been spent (a) for each local authority and (b) nationally in each of the last three years. 
Post Offices: DVLA Tender
13. Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills on the potential effect on post offices in Scotland of the decision on the DVLA tender. 
David Mundell: The Secretary of State for Scotland, the right hon. Member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Michael Moore), and I regularly discuss issues regarding post office services with ministerial colleagues, including the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the right hon. Member for Twickenham (Vince Cable).
David Mundell: The latest claimant count figures for Scotland published this morning by the Office for National Statistics show a fall of 600 for the month of August. Claimant count level in Scotland is 2,800 lower compared with one year ago. Any fall in unemployment during these challenging economic times must be welcome news.
Culture, Media and Sport
Dan Jarvis: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport (1) how many officials in her Department have been employed in dealing with issues relating to library closures since May 2010; 
Hugh Robertson [holding answer 11 September 2012]: The Department operates a flexible working model and allocates staff to current priorities. Therefore staffing levels have fluctuated since May 2010, but on average the libraries team has comprised 2.8 full-time equivalent officials (one at Grade A and 1.8 at Grade B) working on issues related to library closures alongside wider library related policy work.
The only costs to date have been the proportion of staff salaries that relate to time spent on library closure work. As officials are not asked to log the proportion of their time spent on issues relating to library closures we are unable to provide an accurate estimate of cost, but details of staff pay bands are available on the Department's transparency web site at:
Mr Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what steps her Department has taken to put into practice the recommendations of the National Audit Office's review of Central Government's implementation of the National Compact published in January 2012. 
Hugh Robertson [holding answer 7 September 2012]: As recommended in the National Audit Office's review of the Government's implementation of the National Compact, the Department continues to revise its practices and procedures to strengthen and better align them with the requirements of the compact. A commitment to comply with the compact is included in the departmental business plan.
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prior to commencement of the stalking offences on 25 November 2012. A compulsory e-learning module for roll-out in 2012-13 is also being developed to further support prosecutors in prosecuting all forms of stalking.
Mr Llwyd: To ask the Attorney-General how it will be determined, when an individual is arrested for stalking, whether there is sufficient evidence to charge them and whether they will face prosecution under section 4A or 4B of the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. 
The Attorney-General: The Protection from Harassment Act 1997 does not contain a section 4B. Prosecutors will have to determine whether to charge under section 4 (harassment) or section 4A (stalking), when the changes to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 come into force. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is preparing guidance for its prosecutors on determining the correct charge which will build on its current guidance on stalking and harassment cases. As is currently the case with allegations of stalking, each case will be considered on its individual facts and merits and in accordance with the Full Code Test outlined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors (the Code).
Ambulance Services: Crimes of Violence
Information held on the number of physical assaults against staff reported by national health service bodies in England does not indicate the professional category of staff or whether staff were on duty when assaults took place.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what funds his Department has allocated to the work led by the Health and Social Care Information Centre on the development of one and five-year cancer survival rate indicators for inclusion in the commissioning outcomes framework; 
(3) whether third sector organisations will be able to engage with the Health and Social Care Information Centre on the development of one and five-year cancer survival rate indicators for inclusion in the commissioning outcomes framework. 
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Norman Lamb: It is for the NHS Commissioning Board to decide on the content of the commissioning outcomes framework. The NHS Commissioning Board Authority is currently undertaking discussions with national stakeholder organisations, including third sector organisations, to discuss the shape of the commissioning outcomes framework for 2013-14 and beyond.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to the answer of 26 June 2012, Official Report, column 224W, on cancer, for what reasons cancer survival rate indicators were not recommended for inclusion in the commissioning outcomes framework 2013-14; 
(2) with reference to the answer of 26 June 2012, Official Report, column 224W, on cancer, what progress has been made in developing a composite indicator showing one-year survival rates for all cancers; 
Norman Lamb: The National Health Service Commissioning Board (NHS CB) will be responsible for decisions on the commissioning outcomes framework, which the board will use to measure the quality of care commissioned by clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and the associated health outcomes. The recommendations developed by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) are intended to support the NHS CB in designing the framework.
The Information Centre is working with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to develop a methodology for composite one-year survival rate indicators for all cancers for potential inclusion in the NHS outcomes framework and commissioning outcomes framework (COF). These are complex measures that require linkage of ONS population statistics with cancer registry data and attribution to clinical commissioning groups, as well as testing the robustness of the measures. It is likely to take some months to complete this work.
The NHS CB will decide on the content of the COF and is expected to publish the list of measures for 2013-14 in the autumn. If not included in the 2013-14 framework, the board may choose a separate publication route for the data that do exist, to ensure the information is available transparently to the public.
Public health and the national health service will both have a role to play in delivering the improvements to survival rates. Within the NHS, some services will be commissioned by the NHS CB (primary care and specialised services).and some by clinical commissioning groups for their populations. The role of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) will therefore be to ensure the commissioning of appropriate services to deliver against
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the areas for which they will be responsible. These will include, for example, commissioning of surgery for cancers that are not covered by the specialised commissioning arrangements and commissioning of follow-up care for most cancers. CCGs are also responsible for supporting the board in improving the quality of primary medical care. It is not possible to separate out what proportion of the 5,000 lives are the responsibility of the different organisations, but they are all responsible for working together to deliver the improvements.
We are providing a range of support for CCGs to help us deliver on our ambition to save 5,000 additional lives. The provision of high quality information is key to driving service improvement and we have developed commissioner profiles that will allow CCGs to benchmark their cancer performance with other CCGs. NICE is developing a range of quality standards for cancer care which will be an important resource for CCGs in helping them to commission high quality services to drive up quality and outcomes.