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Mr. Sutcliffe: The Prison Service already has a scheme at HMP Coldingley that pays prisoners market
rates for their work. However any expansion of such a pilot is limited by finding sufficient work that generates income to support such schemes. Under present legislation prisoners cannot be required to contribute directly to the cost of their stay in prison. Section 51 of the Prison Act 1952 requires that all expenses incurred for the maintenance of prisons and prisoners are met from public funds. However some schemes do exist that enable prisoners to make voluntary contributions to a variety of charitable causes, including those for victims. The Prisoners' Earnings Act 1996, which would, if implemented, allow deductions to be made, is very complex and prescriptive and would cost substantially more to administer than it would raise in revenue.
Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inmates are being held at HMP Leyhill; how many of these are (a) category D prisoners and (b) prisoners of other categories; what the corresponding figures were five years ago; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to (a) HM Prison Service and (b) other prison operators was of litigation in each of the last five years; what proportion of actions were initiated by (i) staff, (ii) inmates and (iii) others; and what action he is taking to reduce levels of litigation arising from the operation of prisons. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The following table covers the last two financial years. Data prior to this are unreliable and are therefore not included. Information collated centrally relates to public sector prisons; litigation in private sector prisons is a matter for the individual contractor. The figures exclude employment tribunals. In liaison with the Treasury Solicitor, the Prison Service publishes a monthly newsletter, highlighting best practice and lessons learned, to prison governors and senior staff.
In addition, the Prison Service's Litigation Unit regularly reminds establishments of the steps to be taken following incidents, in order that resultant claims can, where possible, be defended. Trend data collated over the last two years are to be used to identify potential difficulties allowing governors and area managers to take remedial action for the future.
|Cost of litigation in the public sector Prison Service in England and Wales in 2004-05 and 2005-06|
|Number of compensated claims||Compensation paid (£)||Adverse costs (£)|
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what legislation governs the requirement on the Probation Service to provide a pre-sentence report when a (a) magistrates court and (b) Crown court requests one; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 and the Criminal Justice Act 2003 contain provisions which relate to either the role of the national probation service in assisting the court through the production of pre-sentence reports or the consideration of such reports by the courts. In particular, the Criminal Justice Act 2003, part 12, from section 156 sets out the requirements on courts to obtain and consider pre-sentence reports.
Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress his Department is making towards the Spending Review 2002 Public Service Agreement Target (a) four, on public confidence in the criminal justice system and (b) five, on protecting the public and reducing re-offending; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 3 May 2006]: The spending review 2002 set the following Public Service Agreement Targets (PSA) for the Home Department: (a) PSA four, Improve the level of public confidence in the Criminal Justice System, including increasing that of minority ethnic communities, and increasing year on year the satisfaction of witnesses, whilst respecting the rights of defendants. And; (b) PSA five, Protect the Public and reduce re-offending by 5 per cent. I have published progress made against these targets in the Autumn Performance Report of December 2005 (CM6707), and will be publishing my latest assessment of progress, in the Departmental Report for 2005-06 which will be published in May at:
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of people who will be affected by the decision to extend the period of residence for settlement; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: An assessment has been made based on the number of in-country work related applications for settlement received each year. This indicates that around 45,000 applicants may be affected by the change and will now have to wait a further year for settlement. This estimate has been made subject to certain assumptions; for instance, that applicants who are eligible will apply for settlement at the earliest opportunity, and that the broad pattern of applications will remain the same as before.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations he held with minority ethnic communities about the likely impact of the extension of the residence period for settlement prior to its introduction; what such consultations he has had since its introduction; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The change in the minimum qualifying period for settlement affects work permit holders and those coming to the UK for employment. Our discussion of the change has, therefore, reflected this and has been principally with organisations that represent employees irrespective of their nationality or ethnic community. The Home Office has regular contact and discussions on migration and asylum issues with representatives of the minority ethnic communities.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations he held with (a) employers, (b) employers' organisations and (c) employees' organisations representing minority ethnic communities on the effects of the extension of the residency period required for settlement rights; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The Home Office has had significant and regular contact with employers and employers' organisations to discuss the future changes to the immigration system since this increase in the minimum qualifying period for settlement was announced on7 February 2005. Between that date and the introduction of the change we received no views from employers on the substance of the policy, and the views that we have received since have been about the effect of the timing on individuals, not on sectors of business or employment. Most of the views we receive from employers in the normal course of events are that skilled workers do not stay with them for long enough, which, of course, is not affected by this change. On consultation about the effect of this change on minority ethnic communities I refer the my hon. Friend to my previous answer [No 68488].
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely effects on (a) the employability of those on work permits, (b) employers of migrant workers and (c) inward investment of the extension of the residency period required for settlement rights in the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The change does not affect anyone's right to remain and work in the UK; anyone with valid leave to remain and who is continuing in employment will qualify to remain as before and should have no
difficulty in completing the fifth year. It will, therefore, have no affect on the employability of those on work permits since their employability is linked first and foremost to the skills that they possess, whether there is an employer who continues to require those skills, and whether the skills are still not available in the resident labour market. In some cases an employer may have to obtain renewal of a work permit and to pay a fee. We wish to maintain the attractiveness of the UK as a destination for investors. But our assessment is that the length of the qualifying period for settlement is of marginal importance in inward investment decisions compared with economic factors and the specific investment opportunities available. The discussions that we have had with representatives include those who represent individual overseas investors and these discussions have reassured us that the impact of this change on its own is likely to be neutral.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the merits of transitional arrangements for those affected by the extension of the residency period required for settlement in the UK; what representations he has received on this matter; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McNulty: The Government looked closely at the merits of introducing transitional arrangements for those affected by the increase in the minimum qualifying period for settlement. In deciding not to introduce transitional arrangements the Government took account, amongst other things, of the following: the change does not prevent anyone from doing anything that they are currently doing; it does not limit
anyone's time with any employer or reduce their stay in the United Kingdom in any way; and that to introduce transitional arrangements for those who arrived when the qualifying period was four years would mean that a desirable policy would not take effect until 2011.
The Government have received representations from the Immigration Law Practitioners Association and from the Chinese Association about the change as a whole and from the Royal College of Nursing about some aspects of it. In addition a small number of individuals have been in contact with the Home Office about their individual cases. We acknowledge that this is will be a disappointing change for those individuals and will provide guidance and advice to those affected.
Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many licensing applications were received by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) in each month since January 2005; how many licences were issued; how many applications were returned to the individual for (a) correction, (b) further information and (c) other reasons; and if he will make a statement on the performance of the SIA in handling licensing applications. 
Mr. Coaker: The Security Industry Authority (SIA) are currently issuing around 530 licences a day. By virtue of the backlog (caused by some parts of the industry failing to meet their part of the agreement to submit licences over a 14-month period) the average time taken to process a licence has risen from six weeks for over 80 per cent. of applications to approximately 10 weeks. The SIA are taking steps to increase capacity. This information is set out in the table.
|Accepted applications||Incomplete (rejected) applications||Total applications||Number licensed||Number licensed, running total|
|(1 )Up to March.|
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