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16 Feb 2006 : Column 2422W—continued

Dentistry

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Health Minister in the National Assembly for Wales Government on the impact of the new dental contract on NHS dentistry in Wales. [51792]

Mr. Hain: The new Personal Dental Service scheme already has had a significantly positive impact on NHS Dental provision; securing NHS provision for 507,613 existing patients and providing additional access for 153,764 new NHS patients.

The number of PDS schemes being rolled out across Wales has been increasing every day and these figures will continue to grow as more dental practices take up the PDS schemes.

Departmental Energy Costs

Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much was spent by his Department on (a) gas and (b) electricity in 2004–05. [51768]

Mr. Hain: In 2004–05 the Wales Office expenditure incurred was:

Departmental Entertainment

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much was spent on entertainment by his Department in 2004–05; and how much of that sum is accounted for by (a) food, (b) alcohol, (c) staff and (d) accommodation. [50891]

Mr. Hain: Total expenditure on ministerial receptions for the Wales Office in 2004–05 was £7,241.00.

Records for 2004–05 do not allow the costs to be split into categories and this information can be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
 
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Departmental Staff

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many staff in his Department are paid on a performance-related basis. [50482]

Mr. Hain: Wales Office staff are employed on either National Assembly for Wales or Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) conditions.

Staff on loan from the National Assembly for Wales are not subject to performance related pay.

Staff who are employed on DCA terms and conditions are all subject to performance related pay. New pay, grading and benefit arrangements are due to be introduced for all DCA staff later this year, and performance related pay is likely to be a feature of the new system.

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether any (a) employee of his Department, (b) person engaged by his Department as a consultant and (c) paid advisor to his Department is a member of the House of Lords; and if he will make a statement. [52902]

Mr. Hain: None.

Devolution

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will include in any referendums under Government of Wales legislation a question asking whether the devolution process should be stopped. [52306]

Mr. Hain: The Government of Wales Bill aims to develop the current devolution settlement and to make it work better in the interests of the people of Wales. It also provides for the Assembly to acquire primary law-making powers, subject to a referendum. The Government have no plans for putting questions other than this in a referendum.

Fair Trade

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) how much and what proportion of his Department's catering budget was spent on fair trade produce in the last period for which figures are available; [49965]

(2) what his Department's policy is on the procurement of fair trade produce for consumption on its premises. [49980]

Mr. Hain: My office does not have a refreshment facility in which it could stock and sell fair trade products.

The Wales Office procurement policy is linked to the Department of Constitutional Affairs. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of State for Constitutional Affairs (Ms Harman) on 13 February 2006, Official Report, column 1595W.

Freedom of Information Act

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what total sum has been received by his Department for
 
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the provision of information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in its first year of operation. [48486]

Mr. Hain: The Wales Office has not received any monies for providing information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Statistics about requests received under the Freedom of Information Act are published by the Department of Constitutional Affairs on a quarterly basis.

Hill Farming

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales Government on hill farming in Wales. [50987]

Mr. Hain: I have regular meetings with the First Minister to discuss a variety of issues, including farming in Wales.

In Wales, 80 per cent. of agricultural land is designated as Less Favoured Area (LFA) and the net farm income in real terms for LFA farms for 2004–05 is forecast to be £16,400 compared to £1,600 in 2001–02.

The Assembly Government is currently consulting on future options for the Tir Mynydd scheme, which is the dedicated financial support scheme that applies to hill farmers. Between 2001 and 2006, it is estimated that payments under Tir Mynydd will have totalled some £230 million.

Pension Liabilities

Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will estimate the net present value of accrued pension liabilities in respect of (a) present and (b) former employees of his Department and its predecessor. [52107]

Mr. Hain: The Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme is an unfunded multi-employer defined benefit scheme and individual departments' pension liabilities are not available. The Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation Resource Accounts for 2004–05 showed that the total pension liability at 31 March 2005 was £84.1 billion. The value of pension liabilities was assessed as follows:

As a result of a change in the discount rate used for calculating pension liabilities with effect from 1 April 2005, the total pension liability at 1 April 2005 increased by £10.6 billion to £94.7 billion.

Police Reorganisation

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what public opinion surveys have been conducted in Wales on the proposals to merge police authorities. [52603]


 
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Mr. Hain: None. The current proposals for force restructuring in Wales follow recommendations from Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary that the current 43 force structure in England and Wales is no longer fit for purpose, and their conclusion that there is no acceptable alternative to a single Welsh force if the provision of protective services is to be brought up to the required standard.

My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary and I have held wide ranging discussions with hon. Members, key stakeholders and members of the public across Wales about the implications of restructuring. However, my right hon. Friend has made clear that our efforts to close the gap in protective services should not be put at risk by an unnecessarily protracted period of deliberation.

WORK AND PENSIONS

Audible Fire Alarms

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of the premises occupied by his Department is fitted with audible fire alarms. [42867]

Mrs. McGuire: DWP currently occupy 1,648 buildings. With the exception of two sites every building is fitted with an audible fire alarm. The Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) for these sites identified the anomalies, remedial work is in hand and expected to be completed by end of February 2006.


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