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16 Apr 2007 : Column 188Wcontinued
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the outturn effective tax rate (ETR) being charged in each council will be in Northern Ireland from April 2007; and what the average council ETR will be in Northern Ireland. 
David Cairns: Individual district councils are responsible for determining the effective tax rate or district rates for both domestic and non-domestic properties. The 2007-08 rates for each council and the average rates for Northern Ireland are set out in the following table.
|District c ouncil||Non-Domestic Rate( 1)||Domestic Rate( 2)|
|(1) Net Annual Values (NAV) were applied in the calculation of non-domestic rates.|
(2) Capital values were applied in the calculation of domestic rates.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many children took part in the Creative Youth Partnerships programme; what plans are in place to resource the programme in the future; and if he will make a statement on the performance of the programme against the objectives his Department has set for it. 
Maria Eagle: From April 2004 to September 2006, 38,813 children and young people participated in Creative Youth Partnership programmes.
The three-year pilot scheme was due to conclude at the end of March 2007, but funding has been secured to extend the pilot for a further year at existing levels of activity.
The Department of Culture, Art, and Leisure will be bidding for funding for Creative Youth Partnerships in the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review and the future of the programme will be dependent on the outcome of this.
The programme has been evaluated by the Education and Training Inspectorate and the report on this will be published shortly. Early indications are that good progress has been made in meeting the overall objectives of the Creative Youth Partnerships initiative and that the Inspectorate recommends the continuation of the programme, as it enhances and supports the education of children and young people.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on (a) sponsoring newspaper or publication supplements and (b) funding advertorials in newspapers or publications, in the last year for which figures are available; and what the topic was of each. 
Mr. Hain: The Northern Ireland Office has only sponsored one newspaper supplement in 2006-07; this was the Organised Crime Task Force Annual Report Summary Leaflet the cost of which was £21,992.57. The Northern Ireland Office has not funded any advertorials in this period.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which external consultants were used by each Northern Ireland Government Department and its associated agencies in each of the past six years; and what the (a) hourly rate and (b) overall cost was in each case. 
Mr. Hanson: The information requested is not held centrally in the format requested. However, I refer the hon. Lady to the reply I gave the hon. Member for South Down (Mr. McGrady) on 19 February 2007, Official Report, column 555W, which contains information on the overall expenditure on consultants by each Northern Ireland Department over the last five years.
I have also placed in the Library a list of the recipients of consultancy fees paid by each of the 11 Departments of the Northern Ireland Administration and the Northern Ireland Office (excluding agencies and non-departmental public bodies) in respect of the years 2002-03 to 2004-05.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what meetings took place between Ministers in his Department and outside interest groups between 1 January and 31 March; and what the date was of each such meeting. 
Mr. Hain: Ministers and civil servants meet a large number of people and groups in the course of their official duties. To extract this information from the diaries for all Ministers in my Department would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many work permits were applied for by his Department and its agencies in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Hain: No work permits have been applied for by the Northern Ireland Office or its agencies in each of the last five years.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland why his Department gave prior approval to the Northern Ireland Police Fund to make a severance payment to Mr. Desmond Clayton. 
Paul Goggins: The Department considered the issue carefully, drawing on its own legal advice and discussing it with the accounting officer. Given the status of the Northern Ireland Police Fund as both a company limited by guarantee and an executive NDPB, matters relating to its operation including payments are a matter for the board of directors of the fund.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department approved for payment by the Northern Ireland Police Fund by way of severance payment for Mr. Desmond Clayton. 
Paul Goggins: Given the status of the Northern Ireland Police Fund as both a company limited by guarantee and an executive NDPB, matters relating to its operation including payments are a matter for the board of directors of the fund.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what reason the Northern Ireland Police Fund gave to his Department for its request to approve a severance payment for Mr. Desmond Clayton. 
Paul Goggins: After careful consideration and legal advice the NIO concluded that the impact on the working relationships between the chief executive, the fund's directors and the clients was such that the work of the fund was likely to have been adversely affected by his continued employment.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps have been taken to develop a diabetes services framework for the Province. 
Paul Goggins: A framework for the development of services for people with diabetes, produced by a joint CREST/Diabetes UK Taskforce, was published in June 2003. The framework contained a wide range of recommendations and each of the four Health and Social Services Boards have local implementation groups to take forward the detailed planning and implementation of the framework. The Department has also established a Regional Diabetes Steering Group with representation from the four boards and Diabetes UK to oversee and monitor progress.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average annual earnings are of a full-time (a) general practitioner and (b) consultant psychiatrist in the Province. 
Paul Goggins: Following the introduction of the new UK wide General Medical Services (GMS) contract with effect from 1 April 2004, the contract for the provision of General Medical Services is between the relevant Health and Social Services Board and a GMS practice rather than individual GPs. Under the contract, each GMS practice receives payment for services and can generate income through a number of streams, some of which are core and some in which participation is a matter of choice for the practice concerned. It is a matter for each GMS practice to determine how its services are organised and how the funding it receives is allocated between GP remuneration and practice expenses, including the employment of staff and other overheads.
Information is collected across the four countries on health service funding for GP practices and on the
expenses to earnings split, based on audited accounts. The final information for the first year of the contract, (2004-05) has not yet been agreed at a UK level nor has it been disaggregated on a country by country basis) Consequently, an accurate assessment of GP earnings in NI under the new contract is not yet available
The average annual earnings in Northern Ireland of a consultant psychiatrist is £100,300.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps have been taken to improve the work-life balance of senior house officers seeking training posts. 
Paul Goggins: The Department's Improving Junior Doctors Working Lives Implementation Support Group (ISO) continues to work to ensure compliance with the European working time directive and new deal. The Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) also fully supports less than full-time training.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of junior doctors in the Province who will be unable to obtain training posts in August 2007. 
Paul Goggins: The Department of Health has instigated a review of recruitment and selection for specialist training. Until the findings of this review have been implemented, the number of junior doctors unable to obtain training posts in the province cannot be determined.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to assist experienced senior house officers in the Province in obtaining specialist training. 
Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) organised four workshops for experienced SHOs to advise them on the new recruitment process.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the timetable is for (a) local authorities to finalise their district rate for 2007-08, (b) finalising the level of the regional rate for 2007-08 and (c) the posting of domestic rates bills to local authorities; and on which day in April 2007 liability starts for the new domestic rates bills. 
Mr. Hanson: The information requested is as follows:
(a) The table of district rates for 2007-08 was published on 16 February 2007;
(b) The Rates (Regional Rates) Order (Northern Ireland) 2007 was made on 29 January 2007;
(c) Rate bills are not posted to local authorities; and
(d) Rate liability for domestic property is effective from 1 April of each year.
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