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BAE Systems

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Solicitor-General whether the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) asked the Defence Export Services Organisation for (a) information and (b) co-operation in respect of the SFO's investigation into allegations of bribery and false accounting concerning BAE Systems and Saudi Arabian officials. [8129]

The Solicitor-General: The question relates to an ongoing criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). In the circumstances, it would not be appropriate to either confirm or deny whether the SFO has approached a particular individual or entity.

Crown Prosecution Service

Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Solicitor-General how much has been spent on the Crown Prosecution Service in each of the last 10 years. [6575]

The Solicitor-General: The following table gives the net expenditure on the Crown Prosecution Service in each of the last 10 years. Expenditure is reported in cash terms from 1995–96 to 2000–01 and in resource terms thereafter.



Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Government are taking to help people with autism find employment; and if he will make a statement. [7740]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 28 June 2005]: Our specialist Disability Employment Advisers (DEAs), who are based in jobcentres, receive training and guidance to help them support people with health conditions and disabilities into employment, including people with autism. The support provided by DEAs includes advice
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on jobs and training, as well as information on in-work support, and specialist programmes to help overcome barriers to employment associated with disability.

All our Jobcentre Plus advisers have access to a Disability Awareness Open Learning Handbook, which includes information on autistic spectrum disorders; the effects they have on individuals, the implications for work, and the possible types of support an individual might need in employment. This information was approved by the National Autistic Society and is recommended learning for all advisers, and mandatory learning for DEAs. We are currently working with the society on further enhancements.

All Jobcentre Plus staff, including DEAs, also have access to information on a range of disabilities, including autism, through guidance on our Intranet.

Incapacity Benefit

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people declared part-time earnings while claiming incapacity benefit in each of the last five years. [8497]

Mrs. McGuire: The information is not available.


Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what representations he has received about the reduction of staff numbers in local job centres; [7306]

(2) what plans he has to reduce the number of staff at Jobcentre Plus offices. [7307]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 29 June 2005]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive, Lesley Strathie. She will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Lesley Strathie to Mr. Hugo Swire, dated 30 June 2005:

Mental Capacity Act

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are being taken to bring appointeeships in line with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. [7082]

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Mrs. McGuire: Officials are currently discussing the Act's draft Code of Conduct with officials of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, who are responsible for the implementation of the Act. They will also have discussions with the Making Decisions Alliance in the near future.


Tax Credits

13. David T.C. Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received regarding the operation of the tax credit system. [8154]

Dawn Primarolo: Since April 2005 tax credits have been the subject of debate or statements on a number of occasions in both Houses:

Various representations have been made on each of these occasions, to which Ministers responded at the time.

I have also answered several questions in the House and replied to letters from Members and others.

The Ombudsman's Office and Citizens Advice have also sent me copies of their reports published on 22 June.

22. Mr. Wallace: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much in overpayment of (a) working tax credit and (b) working family tax credit is owed to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. [8163]

Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of numbers and values of child tax credit and working tax credit overpayments for 2003–04 awards at 5 April 2004, appear in the HMRC publication, Child and Working Tax Credits Statistics. Finalised Awards 2003–04. Supplement on payments in 2003–04." The estimates are based on samples and are subject to significant sampling uncertainty. This publication can be found in the Library.

Working families' tax credit awards were based on a snapshot of income and circumstances around the time of claim, and were then fixed at a specific amount regardless of any rise or fall in income for 26 weeks.

23. Mr. Dunne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will simplify the tax credits system so that it can be explained to applicants in significantly fewer pages of guidance notes than at present. [8164]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the written statement I made to the House on 26 May 2005, Official Report, columns 22–23WS, setting out six measures to improve tax credits and, in particular, with regard to how HMRC communicate with families about their tax credits award.

Mr. Amess : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent representations he has received on the operation of the tax credits system. [8140]

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Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Buckingham (John Bercow) in the Chamber this morning.

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