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6 Nov 2006 : Column 856W—continued

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Pope: To ask the Prime Minister what steps he has taken to offset the carbon dioxide emissions caused by ministerial travel in his Office. [98732]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answers given by my noble Friend the Lord Bassam of Brighton on 10 July 2006, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA95, and 25 July 2006, Official Report, House of Lords, columns WA265-66.


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North Korea

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his oral answer of 25 October 2006, Official Report, column 1518, if he will make a statement on his discussion with a senior Chinese official on North Korea’s nuclear enrichment programme. [99602]

The Prime Minister: I discussed a wide range of issues with the Chairman of the National Committee, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Jia Qinglin, during his recent visit, including North Korea’s nuclear test and China’s commitment to a denuclearised Korean peninsula. I also welcome the agreement in Beijing last week on North Korea’s return to the six-party talks.

Deputy Prime Minister

Climate Change

David Taylor: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had on achieving international consensus on efforts to stop climate change. [98394]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 November 2006, Official Report, column 285.

Departmental Travel

Mr. Heald: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which civil servants accompanied him during each of his official visits to the United States in 2005; and what their job titles are. [99606]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the letter from the Cabinet Secretary to the hon. Member for East Devon (Mr. Swire) of 6 July 2006, a copy of which has been made available in the Library for the reference of Members.

Johnny Gallagher

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what meetings he has had with property developer Johnny Gallagher since 1997. [92283]

The Deputy Prime Minister: My Department has no record of any meetings with Mr. Gallagher.

Ministerial Facilities

Mr. Heald: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether staff in his Office have access to a gym operated by the Government. [96386]

The Deputy Prime Minister: Staff have access to a gym operated on behalf of the Cabinet Office, for which they pay a subscription charge to the operator.

Post Office

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the future of the Post Office network. [99087]


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The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 November 2006, Official Report, columns 280-81 to the hon. Member for Wellingborough (Mr. Bone).

Minister for Women

Community Facilities

David Taylor: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent representations she has received on establishing female-only community facilities in (a) Leicestershire, (b) England and (c) the United Kingdom. [97160]

Meg Munn [holding answer 26 October 2006]: I have had no such representations on establishing female-only community facilities in Leicestershire, England or the United Kingdom.

Duchy of Lancaster

Better Regulation for Civil Society

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster by what date each recommendation of the Better Regulation Task Force's report “Better Regulation for Civil Society” (a) was implemented and (b) is expected to be implemented in relation to voluntary organisations. [95761]

Edward Miliband: [holding answer 20 October 2006]: The Government's formal response to the Better Regulation Task Force's report “Better Regulation for Civil Society” provides full details of how they are responding to each of the recommendations in the report. It is available on the Cabinet Office website at http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/third_sector/publications/index.asp. Copies have also been placed in the Library for the reference of Members and are also available in the Vote Office.

Bulgarian/Romanian Immigrants

Mr. Gale: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if she will place in the Library a copy of the leaked Cabinet Office memorandum relating to crime committed by Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants. [99681]

Hilary Armstrong: It has been the practice of successive Governments not to comment on allegedly leaked documents.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much her Department has spent on accommodation and subsistence costs on visits (a) for Ministers, (b) for staff and (c) in total (i) in the last 12 months and (ii) in each year since 1997. [99952]


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Hilary Armstrong: Information for the Cabinet Office is not collected in the format requested. To provide a breakdown would incur disproportionate costs.

Owing to the way that accommodation and subsistence related costs are recorded on the Cabinet Office accounting system, it is not possible to extract the requested information from it.

All official travel in the Department is undertaken strictly in accordance with the rules contained in the Cabinet Office Management Code. All ministerial travel-related costs are undertaken fully in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and “Travel by Ministers”, copies of which are available in the Library for the reference of Members.

Departmental IT

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many information technology projects her Department has undertaken in each year since 2001. [97570]

Mr. McFadden: According to available records, the number of information technology projects the Department has undertaken in each year since 2001 is shown in the table.

Number of Projects

2001-02

42

2002-03

22

2003-04

23

2004-05

14

2005-06

19

2006 to date

21


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which of her Department's databases are (a) wholly and (b) partly operated by external organisations or individuals; and which organisations and individuals own those databases. [97757]

Mr. McFadden: According to available records the Department has eight databases, which are operated wholly or partly by external organisations; all are owned by the Department. These are shown as follows.

Database Title

With the exception of the Fast Stream Recruitment Database, which is wholly operated, the rest are partly operated by external organisations.


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Departmental Staff

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) of 19 October 2006, Official Report, column 1387W, on departmental staff, whether part of the new house manager's time will be assigned to the Admiralty House building. [99620]

Mr. McFadden: I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on Thursday 19 October, Official Report, column 1387-8W.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many full-time equivalent staff from the Cabinet Office Communication Group provide support to the Deputy Prime Minister's Office. [99621]

Hilary Armstrong: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on Monday 23 October 2006, Official Report, column 1624W.

Mandatory Retirement

Mr. Marsden: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which Government Departments have mandatory retirement ages for staff. [98754]

Mr. McFadden: Responsibility for the setting of retirement ages for staff below the Senior Civil Service is delegated to individual Departments under the Civil Service (Management Functions) Act 1992. The Cabinet Office does not maintain a record of those Departments which have chosen, as a result of the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006, to introduce a mandatory retirement age for their staff below the Senior Civil Service.

Retirement age for members of the Senior Civil Service is not delegated to Departments to decide on and is 65.

Official Residence

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on what date the Lord Chancellor moved into an official residence in Admiralty House. [99622]

Hilary Armstrong: My right hon. and noble Friend the Lord Chancellor has been allocated one of the flats in Admiralty House. He will not take up residence but will use it for official entertaining and other engagements. The arrangements for the Lord Chancellor were effective from Monday 16 October 2006.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on what date the right hon. Member for Ashfield moved out of his official Ministerial residence in Admiralty House. [99623]

Hilary Armstrong: My right hon. Friend the Member for Ashfield (Mr. Hoon) vacated his official ministerial residence in Admiralty House on Friday 30 June 2006.


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Pensions

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the current estimate is of the unfunded liability, in present value terms, of each public sector pension scheme for which her Department is responsible; and on what assumptions for (a) discount rate and (b) longevity the estimate is based. [96055]

Mr. McFadden: Information on the most recent estimate of unfunded liability for the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme is available in the Resource Accounts 2005-06 of Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation, a copy of which is available in the Library for the reference of Members. This contains details of the present value of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme's liabilities at Friday 31 March 2006 and the discount rate assumption.

The scheme actuary used the same longevity assumptions as applied at the last full valuation as at Monday 31 March 2003. A copy of this report, “Review of the Accruing Superannuation Liability Charges (ALSCs) as at Monday 31 March 2003” is available on the Civil Service Pensions website at http://www.civilservice-pensions.gov.uk/upload/assets/www.civilservice_pensions.gov.uk/aslc_review 31mar03.pdf.

Copies have also been placed in the Library for the reference of Members.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what recent estimate she has made of the (a) rate and (b) annual cost of employer contributions in each public sector pension scheme for which her Department has responsibility; and if she will make a statement. [96065]

Mr. McFadden: Employer contribution rates for Members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) are assessed for each of four ranges of pay levels and are set at a level which together with employee contributions is intended to meet the costs of benefits accruing in the year. This approach is set out in Resource Accounts 2005-06 of Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation, a copy of which is available in the Library for the reference of Members. The current employer contribution rates expressed as a percentage of pensionable pay are shown in the table.

Salary band (£) Rate of employer contribution as a percentage of pensionable pay

18,500 and under

17.1

18,501 to 38,000

19.5

38,001 to 65,000

23.2

65,001 and over

25.5


The average employer contribution is estimated at 19.4 per cent. of pensionable pay. A higher rate, of 26.5 per cent. of pensionable pay, is payable by the Prison Service for prison officers employed before September 1987 and who are entitled to enhanced benefits. The total employer contributions for 2006-07 are estimated at £2.6 billion.

Most civil servants joining the civil service on or after Tuesday 1 October 2002 can, as an alternative to joining the PCSPS, opt for a partnership pension
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account which is a stakeholder arrangement with an age-related employer contribution varying between 3 per cent. and 12.5 per cent. of pensionable pay. In addition, the employer will match individual contributions up to a maximum of 3 per cent. of pay. In 2005-06, employers contributed a total of £7.7 million to partnership pension accounts.

Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what her estimate is of the total spending on the Civil Service Pension Scheme for each year from 1980-81 to 2050-51; how many members of the scheme there are; and if she will make a statement. [96533]

Mr. McFadden: Information on total spending on the Civil Service Pension Scheme for the years 2001-02 to 2005-06 is shown in the Resource Accounts of Cabinet Office: Civil Superannuation. The Resource Accounts for 2005-06 also include information on scheme membership. Information on total spending for earlier years is shown in the Appropriation Accounts for the Civil Superannuation Vote. Her Majesty's Treasury accounted for this Vote before 1995, when responsibility moved to the Cabinet Office. Copies of these documents are available in the Library for the reference of Members.

Future estimates for the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme are included in the total figures for gross spending on unfunded pensions in payment as a percentage of GDP that were published in the December 2005 Long-term Public Finance Report by Her Majesty's Treasury. Copies are available in the Library for the reference of Members.


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