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|Number of pre-charge decisions made by the Crown Prosecution Service, 2008-09|
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord Freud): The latest Office for National Statistics estimate of the number of underemployed people is 2.8 million (2009). Government plans for securing economic growth, through: tackling the budget deficit; restoring confidence in the economy; and, injecting new life into the private sector and allowing enterprise to drive the economy, will be central to reducing this number.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will veto any proposals to give the European Union increased powers over the fiscal, financial and economic affairs of member states; and whether they will not submit United Kingdom budgets to the European Union before they have been debated and agreed by the House of Commons.[HL44]
Lord Sassoon: The Government have made a clear commitment that any proposals that would transfer power from the UK to the EU would be subject to a referendum in the UK. At the first meeting of the new EU Economic Task Force on 21 May, the Chancellor stated that the Government will not support any measures that would undermine the role of national parliaments in setting budgets. As is the established policy, we will not submit the UK Budget to the EU before it has been debated and agreed in this House.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): The World Health Organisation (WHO) uses defined phases to monitor the evolution of a pandemic. These allow for a step-by-step escalation of the global response from the time a novel virus is detected. The phases are numbered from 1 to 6; phase 6 being the point at which a pandemic is declared.
The United Kingdom Government's response to the pandemic is in line with WHO guidance. We are reviewing the UK national framework for responding to an influenza pandemic, which will include the use of WHO phases in the context of the UK response. It is expected to be published later this year.
The Chairman of Committees (Lord Brabazon of Tara): The budget for the staffing costs of administering the House of Lords Members' Reimbursement Scheme for 2010-11 is £277,000; the provisional outturn for 2009-10 is £255,000. These figures include the costs of those directly employed to administer the scheme, and a proportion of the costs of others, including senior staff, who spend some of their time in tasks related to administering the scheme. Figures are to the nearest £1,000 and do not include overhead costs, such as ICT, printing and stationery, and training as these cannot be easily allocated to the cost of administering the scheme.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of how many domestic dwellings in England and Wales are empty; whether they plan to bring them back into occupation; if so, how; and by when.[HL94]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Hanham): Council taxbase data for England show that there were 771,000 empty homes in 2009. Of these, 316,000 were long-term empty (empty for longer than six months) and 454,000 were short-term empty (empty for less than six months). Council tax base data for Wales show that there were 30,000 short-term empty homes in 2009. The number of long-term empty homes in Wales, and therefore the total number of empty homes, is not collected centrally.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the allegations made by Ms Louise Perrett concerning the United Kingdom Border Agency's Cardiff office have been fully investigated; and, if so, what were the conclusions.[HL2]
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): The UK Border Agency takes all allegations of inappropriate behaviour extremely seriously. In light of the nature of the allegations made by Louise Perrett the UK Border Agency asked its Professional Standards Unit to undertake an investigation. I can confirm that this investigation has now been completed and that the agency is in the process of contacting those affected by the investigation. Once this has been completed the agency will write to interested parties detailing the conclusions and recommendations within the report.
Baroness Neville-Jones: Any EU legislation giving effect to the common immigration policy for non-EU migrants under Article 79 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union would be subject to opt-in arrangements. The Government will not opt into any measures that are contrary to their policies for immigration control.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Neville-Jones): My Lords, the arrangements prior to a family's departure are clearly important. We are committed to ending the detention of children for immigration purposes and my honourable friend, the Minister of State for Immigration, is leading a review to find a way forward which protects the welfare of children, while ensuring the removal of those who have no right to be in the UK. He will be setting out the way forward in the coming weeks.
Baroness Neville-Jones: My Lords, the Government are committed to ending the detention of children for immigration purposes. My honourable friend, the Minister of State for Immigration, is leading a review to find a way forward which protects the welfare of children, while ensuring the removal of those who have no right to be in the UK. He will be setting out the way forward in the coming weeks.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the recommendations made in December 2009 by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, concerning the detention of children.[HL64]
Baroness Neville-Jones: My Lords, the reports made recommendations about the treatment of children in detention. This Government have already stated that
7 Jun 2010 : Column WA22
To ask Her Majesty's Government which clinics and hospitals in England and Wales which are permitted to provide abortions are (a) owned, and (b) leased, by Marie Stopes International; how many approved beds each hospital contains; and whether they are approved for (i) surgical day care abortions with or without general anaesthetic, and (ii) late abortions.[HL14]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Earl Howe): There are currently 13 clinics managed by Marie Stopes International (MSI) which are approved by the Secretary of State for Health to perform abortions. Information is not held on whether these clinics are owned or leased by MSI and the conditions of approval no longer cover numbers of approved beds in each clinic. The Secretary of State's approval does not specify whether medical, surgical or late terminations can be performed. Some clinics may however, under their conditions of registration from the Care Quality Commission (CQC), be only permitted to perform medical termination of pregnancy up to nine weeks' gestation. The CQC also assesses whether clinics are able to perform termination of pregnancy at gestations of 20 weeks and over. It is our understanding that three clinics currently undertake procedures at these gestations.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many abortions were performed in clinics and hospitals in England and Wales (a) owned, and (b) leased, by Marie Stopes International, broken down by (i) grounds for abortion, (ii) length of gestation, (iii) age of the pregnant woman, and (iv) nationality of the pregnant woman, in each of the last three years for which information is available.[HL15]
Earl Howe: The information requested is shown in the following table. The information is for England only as Marie Stopes International (MSI) has no clinics approved to perform abortions in Wales. The department does not hold information on whether clinics are owned or leased by MSI and data are collected by country of residence not nationality.
|Abortions taking place at Marie Stopes clinics in England, by grounds, gestation, age and country of residence 2007-2009|
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the amount of money generated by Marie Stopes International for abortion services in the past two years for which information is available.[HL18]
Earl Howe: No assessment has been made. Marie Stopes International (MSI) performs National Health Service-funded abortions under contract with a number of primary care trusts. The department does not collect information on the amount of money generated by MSI.
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