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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.
|Cost( 1) (£)||Cost per press officer( 2) (£)|
|(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.|
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. 
The information on temporary staff is shown in the table. The figures relate to the total number of temporary staffsometimes reflecting several such temporary staff filling posts in succession. They do not reflect the total number of posts filled by temporary staff.
| Note: Prior to 2005-06, separate figures were not maintained for SO and OAG.|
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. 
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; 
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.
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.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many times his Departments 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. 
|Number of visits|
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what training his Departments security staff based in Dover house have received since 5 May 2005 in (a) counter-terrorism and (b) customer service. 
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.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
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. 
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