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Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many laptop computers have been used by (a) Ministers, (b) special advisers and (c) officials in his Department in each year since 1995; how many have been (i) lost and (ii) stolen in that period; what the cost was of the use of laptops in that period; and if he will make a statement. 
|Financial year||Laptops purchased|
The numbers of laptop computers lost and stolen in each financial year since 1995 are shown in the following table. All losses and thefts of IT equipment in DFID are investigated and reported according to Government accounting rules.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what representations he has received concerning reports that the Nicaraguan Government has been allocating funds received from the IMF for poverty alleviation projects to service internal debts; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: DFID's office in Nicaragua has received representations from representatives of Nicaraguan civil society about the use of funds from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by the Government of Nicaragua.
The IMF does not finance specific projects. Rather, it transfers funds in support of an overall government budget that is consistent with agreements reached between that government and the IMF about what is needed to achieve economic stability and reduce poverty. The IMF's funds are merged with the government's own funds (e.g. tax revenue) and used to finance the planned expenditure as a whole, rather than any specific components.
Payment of these debts, and the associated legislation to enable stronger regulation of the banking sector, are required if Nicaragua is to be able to create a climate where sustained poverty reduction and economic growth can take place. Furthermore, they have not prevented the Government of Nicaragua from increasing expenditure on poverty reducing programmes from 10.8 per cent. of Gross National Product in 2003 to 12.2 per cent. in 2004. The Government's budget for 2005 continues this trend. However, the National Assembly have allocated increased expenditure to a range of subsidies, many of which do not reduce poverty, which threaten macro-economic stability and the Government's ability to maintain its plans to increase poverty reducing expenditure.
Mr. Woodward: The recruitment of staff, including audiologists, is a matter for individual health and social services trusts taking into account factors such as service needs and available resources. However, during the 200304 financial year, the Department provided funding for additional audiologists and it has been confirmed that 14.5 additional posts were created and these have been filled.
Mr. Woodward: Circular HSS (Gen) (2) 2005 was not subjected to an equality impact assessment. The information contained in that circular replicates the public holidays in Northern Ireland as published by the Department of Trade and Industry.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to expand community hospital provision in Northern Ireland; and how much funding was provided to each community hospital in Northern Ireland in each of the past three years. 
The development of community hospital provision is central to our plans for the modernisation of hospital services. The new local hospital in Downpatrick is scheduled to open in 2008; business cases for new local hospitals in a number of other locations are being prepared. In addition we are taking forward plans to modernise the primary and community care infrastructure to improve further the quality and range of service available within local communities.
21 Jun 2005 : Column 953W
Departmental funding is allocated to health and social services boards under an agreed capitation formula, which recognises the healthcare needs of the populations within each board area. It is for boards to allocate their resources to meet health and social care priorities within their own board area. Details of allocations to specific community hospitals are not, therefore, collected centrally.
(a) Independent homes have a regulatory requirement to provide advice to all residents (including private residents) on how to make a complaint and who to contact outside the home if they remain dissatisfied. The complaints procedure for a resident placed in an independent home by an Health and Social Services Trust is the Health and Personal Social Services (HPSS) Complaints procedure entitled: Complaints Listening ... Acting ... Improving: Guidance on Handling HPSS Complaints: Hospital and Community Health and Social Services" issued 2000.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the South Eastern Education and Library Board (SEELB) was paid by Castlereagh borough council for Creagh Youth Centre; and whether the SEELB has claimed the whole sum due to it from Castlereagh borough council. 
Angela E. Smith: No capital monies have yet been paid by Castlereagh borough council to the South-Eastern Education and Library Board for Cregagh Youth Centre and, therefore, their full contribution of £400,000 towards total capital costs of approximately £800,000 remains outstanding.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost of providing a digital hearing aid on the NHS in the Province is, broken down by (a) assessment, (b) fitting, (c) follow-up and (d) purchase of the aid. 
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