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Joan Ryan: The Identity and Passport Service believe that the lifespan of the chip in the e-passport will match the full 10-year validity period of the e-passport, assuming the passport is subject to normal usage and levels of wear and tear.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether first-time passport applicants will be reimbursed for the cost of travelling to and from an Authentication by Interview centre. 
Joan Ryan: The Government do not propose to offer financial help to those customers attending a passport interview. Interview arrangements and office locations have been designed to keep the cost of attending as low as possible.
Mr. Coaker: This is an operational matter for the police and my Department does not keep information on such use of the roads. I understand from North Wales police that their Driving School provides training to a number of other forces. They are also aware that a number of other police forces use roads in the area for police driver training. They do not however keep records of or monitor such usage.
Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact on Criminal Investigation Department officers of the abolition of the plain clothes allowance in 2004. 
Mr. McNulty: Plain clothes allowance was paid at an annual rate to officers below the rank of assistant chief constable who were required for a continuous period of not less than a week to do duty in plain clothes. From April 2003 the annual rate was £129. An officer below the rank of superintendent who was required to perform duties in plain clothes for not less than 40 hours in any six month period was paid a plain clothes allowance for these duties at an hourly rate of 6.5p. The rates payable from April 2003 were half those paid in the preceding year and entitlement to a plain clothes allowance ceased entirely with effect from 31 March 2004. No assessment has been made of the cessation of this allowance.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2007, Official Report, column 363-64W, on police force pensions, from which Government fund shortfalls in police authorities funds are topped up. 
Mr. McNulty: The Home Office top-up payments are classed as annually managed expenditure (AME) and do not come within departmental expenditure limits (DEL). These arrangements are similar to those used by other unfunded public service pension schemes, for example those for teachers, civil servants and NHS staff. As part of the transition to the new system of financing police pensions, adjustments have been made to the level of Government funding through police grant so that no disadvantage arises at the point of change to the police, local or national taxpayers.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reason (a) television and (b) satellite television subscription services are provided to inmates in prison and detention facilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The provision of television in prison, along with other forms of media, enables prisoners to remain in touch with events in the outside world which forms an important part of the rehabilitation process.
Television in cells is an integral part of the Incentives and Earned Privileges (IEP) scheme operated by all prisons. Prisoners who are on the basic level of the scheme do not have access to televisions. A small number of prisons provide satellite subscription services in association area.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many non-European economic area national (a) junior doctors and (b) qualified doctors (i) were granted a work permit between July 2005 and February 2006 and (ii) have been granted such a permit since July 2006. 
John Reid: Management information does not allow for data to be broken down into the categories of junior doctors and qualified doctors. The number of approved applications recorded under the occupation category of Doctor is as follows:
|July to February each year:||Approvals|
Ms Rosie Winterton: Access to NHS dentistry is increasingin April 2006, primary care trusts had commissioned 75 million annual units of dental activity; by January 2007 that had increased to 78.4 million
12. Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in improving outcomes for disabled children in the ways described by standard 8 of the childrens national service framework. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are making good progress as we enter the second year of the 10-year framework to improve outcomes for disabled children. Our achievements include: £27 million investment in palliative care over the next three years, we are carrying out a radical review of the provision of community equipment and wheelchair services and investing in the development of an audit tool to assist the health service and local authorities to assess progress in implementing standard 8 of the national standard framework.
15. Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the ability of GP practices in rural areas to dispense medication; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: The current review of pharmaceutical services, which includes dispensing by general practitioners, is looking at how we can provide local, high quality services. The review is scheduled to report by the end March and will contribute to a public consultation later in the spring.
Mr. Ivan Lewis: We recently announced the New Deal for Carers, a package of support including £25 million for short breaks for carers in crisis situations in every council; £3 million towards a national helpline for carers; and £5 million for an experts carers programme. The Chancellor has also announced we will be holding the most far-reaching national consultation ever on the role of carers. In the months ahead we will invite carers' groups and the voluntary sector to help us design a modern vision for caring.
Ms Rosie Winterton: No measures have been considered to reduce the use of bank staff. Bank staff perform an important function in the national health service by providing a flexible workforce. Bank working can also provide a good work life balance for staff. A recent report by the National Audit Office shows that bank nurses provide better value for money than agency nurses.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Tragically 2,761 people died while listed for an organ transplant since 2001. 451 people in 2001, 427 in 2002, 485 in 2003, 455 in 2004, 495 in 2005, and 448 people in 2006. I have put a table in the Library showing the breakdown by organ
|Number of patients dying 2001-06 while listed for an organ transplant, UK.|
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