Previous Section Index Home Page

7 Nov 2006 : Column 1012W—continued

Economic Growth

14. Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the prospects are for growth in the Scottish economy; and if he will make a statement. [98838]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for North Ayrshire and Arran (Ms Clark).

Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the most recent gross domestic product growth figures for Scotland; and if he will make a statement. [98830]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Scotland continues to benefit from the economic stability delivered by this Government, which is demonstrated by the recent gross domestic product data. I welcome these figures that show output growth of 0.6 per cent. over the last quarter and 2.2 per cent. over the last year, which is above the long-term trend rate of growth for the Scottish economy.


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1013W

Departmental Expenditure

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on its press office in each year since 1999 (a) in total and (b) per press officer. [96465]

David Cairns: The figures are as follows:

Cost( 1) (£) Cost per press officer( 2) (£)

1999-2000(3)

44,078

11,019

2000-01

178,236

44,559

2001-02

157,826

39,456

2002-03

162,021

40,505

2003-04

136,932

45,644

2004-05

131,149

43,716

2005-06

122,375

61,187

(1) This includes expenditure that can be directly attributable to the press office, such as salaries, overtime, ERNIC, on-call allowances, travel and press cuttings service; it does not include overhead costs, such as accommodation, utilities and corporate services, which are paid centrally. (2) The cost per press officer is obtained by dividing the total cost each year by the number of press officers in post at 31 March at the end of the relevant year. It does not therefore reflect any variations in the number of press officers during each year. (3) Part-year cost from 1 July 1999, when the office was created, to 31 March 2000.

Departmental Redundancies

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many redundancies there were in his Department in each year since 1997; what the cost of such redundancies was in each such year; how many temporary staff were employed in each such year; and how many staff were seconded by outside organisations to the Department in each such year. [95269]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office was established in July 1999; since this date there have been no redundancies from the Office.

The information on temporary staff is shown in the table. The figures relate to the total number of temporary staff—sometimes reflecting several such temporary staff filling posts in succession. They do not reflect the total number of posts filled by temporary staff.

Number

Scotland Office and Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland

1999-2000

13

2000-01

16

2001-02

19

2002-03

15

2003-04

20

2004-05

6

Scotland Office

2005-06

0

Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland

2005-06

7

Note: Prior to 2005-06, separate figures were not maintained for SO and OAG.

7 Nov 2006 : Column 1014W

One individual was seconded in 2001 and three were seconded in 2002 from outside organisations.

Departmental Staff

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if his Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its work force, (b) negotiate an age management policy with trade unions and employees to eliminate age discrimination and retain older workers, (c) identify and support training needs and offer older staff flexible working to downshift towards retirement and (d) extend to over-fifties the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off; and if he will make a statement. [96501]

David Cairns: All staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from either the Department for Constitutional Affairs or the Scottish Executive and are covered under any age-related policies or initiatives operated by their parent Departments.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what proportion of vacancies in his Department in the last 12 months required candidates to have at least a grade C in (a) English and (b) mathematics GCSE; [96741]

(2) whether his Department recognises the International GCSE as an acceptable substitute for a GCSE for the purposes of recruitment. [96871]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office does not recruit staff directly and all staff are on secondment from either the Department for Constitutional Affairs or the Scottish Executive. Posts in the Office are filled by civil servants who meet the competencies and skills relevant to that post.

Devolution

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent devolution issues the Advocate-General has considered. [99097]

David Cairns: Since 10 October, 62 devolution issues have been intimated to the Advocate-General. Of these 62 devolution issues, 45 related to civil proceedings and 17 related to criminal proceedings.

Dover House

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many times his Department’s offices in Dover house have been used by Ministers from the Scottish Executive in each month since May 2005; and what the length of stay was on each occasion. [99543]

David Cairns: The following table shows the number of visits to Dover house by Scottish Executive Ministers and Law Officers in each of the months from May 2005 to October 2006.


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1015W
Number of visits

2005

May

5

June

6

July

5

August

1

September

5

October

4

November

3

December

16

2006

January

5

February

5

March

5

April

2

May

3

June

2

July

12

August

0

September

0

October

3

Total (18 months)

82


A visit is counted as a day or part of a day. More precise information on the length of stay is not available.

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what training his Department’s security staff based in Dover house have received since 5 May 2005 in (a) counter-terrorism and (b) customer service. [100021]

David Cairns: The security guards employed in Dover house are all licensed by the Security Industry Authority. In accordance with the terms of their licences, they have received and will continue to receive appropriate training in all their duties.

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he has taken to offset the carbon dioxide emissions caused by ministerial travel in his Office. [98733]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office subscribes to the principles of environmental performance adopted by the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given today by the Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Redcar (Vera Baird).

Treasury

2018 World Cup

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when his Department will publish its feasibility study on the UK hosting the 2018 World Cup; and if he will make a statement. [100158]


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1016W

Mr. Timms: A study into the feasibility of England hosting a future football World Cup Championship will be published jointly in due course by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Treasury.

Al-Qaeda

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many organisations found to have links with al-Qaeda have had their assets frozen; how much has been frozen in total; how much of this has been returned to legitimate authorities; and if he will make a statement. [99661]

Mr. Timms: A total of 359 individuals and 124 organisations suspected of having links with al-Qaeda and the Taliban have been designated by the UN Sanctions Committee, the EU and the UK Government.

Financial assets frozen in the UK under the al-Qaeda and Taliban (United Nations Measures) Order 2002 total approximately £560,866, of which £85,337 belongs to organisations.

The fight against terrorist financing is an international issue that has been successful in freezing $94 million across 34 countries.

The asset freezing regime is designed to prevent funds, economic resources and financial services from being made available to anyone who is designated under the order on suspicion of involvement with terrorism, and does not include a power to seize assets.

Asset Freezing Working Group

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the report of his Department's Asset Freezing Working Group will be published. [97195]

Mr. Timms: I refer my hon. Friend to the written ministerial statement to Parliament on terrorist finance on 10 October 2006.

On this basis, the Government would expect to publish its first quarterly report to Parliament by early in the New Year. The Government do not publish reports considered by the Asset Freezing Working Group on individual cases.

Authorised Press Officials

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to his answer of 24 October 2006, Official Report, column 1829W, on authorised press officials, which special advisers and members of his Council of Economic Advisers he has authorised to represent his views to the media. [99588]

John Healey: All contact with the press by Treasury officials or special advisers is conducted in accordance with the Civil Service Code and the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers respectively.

Cadet Forces

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much has been spent on School Combined Cadet Forces in the last 12 months. [99395]


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1017W

John Healey: This is a matter for the Secretary of State for Defence.


Next Section Index Home Page