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12 July 2007 : Column 1583W—continued

Post-mortems

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many post-mortem examinations were carried out (a) in England and Wales and (b) in each coroner’s region in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [148600]


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Bridget Prentice: The information requested has been placed in the Library of the House, as per the answer I gave the hon. Member on 10 July 2007, Official Report, column 1462W, on post-mortem examinations.

Prisons: Crimes of Violence

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many assaults on prison officers or other HMP staff there have been in each of the last 10 years. [148673]

Mr. Hanson: Assault information is recorded at establishment level where it should be categorised into one of four categories “Prisoner on Prisoner”, “Prisoner on Officer”, “Prisoner on Other” and “Other”. The recorded incidents of assaults on prison officers are not completely exclusive to officers, establishment recording sometimes includes assaults on other prison staff in this category.

Information from incidents which have been categorised as “Prisoner on Officer” and “Prisoner on Other” is provided in the following table. This may be over-inclusive and contain some assaults on visitors and official visitors.

Reliable data for 1997-99 are not centrally available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Number

2000

1,929

2001

2,366

2002

2,538

2003

2,553

2004

2,803

2005

3,176

2006

3,159

2007(1)

1,210

(1) Up to 31 May 2007.
Notes:
1. The numbers of incidents of assaults reported here are derived from the Prison Service Incident Reporting System (IRS). This system processes high volumes of data supplied by prisons and is constantly being updated. The numbers indicated here provide a useful indication of the realistic scale of assaults incidents, many of which are relatively minor. The numbers should not be interpreted as absolute.
2. The increase in reported numbers of assaults reflects, in part, the increase in prison population.
3. There is a slight lag in reporting which means that the provisional number mentioned here will rise a little in the coming months.
4. Numbers need to be interpreted with caution as some assault incidents may involve more than one assaulter or more than one victim, e.g. one or more prisoners and a member of staff. The numbers refer to the number of incidents not the number of prisoners and others involved.

Young Offender Institutions: Crimes of Violence

Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many assaults on staff there have been at young offender institutions in each of the last 10 years. [148674]

Mr. Hanson: Information from incidents which have been categorised as ‘Prisoner on Officer’ and ‘Prisoner on Other’ is provided in the following table.


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This may be over-inclusive and contain some assaults on visitors and official visitors. The information is restricted to YOI institutions—it does not include assault data from mixed function establishments—and therefore precludes data from establishments also holding older prisoners as well as all female assault incidents.

Reasonably reliable data for 1997-99 are not centrally available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Number

2000

480

2001

539

2002

555

2003

507

2004

709

2005

801

2006

776

(1)2007

280

(1 )Up to 31 May 2007
Notes:
1. The numbers of assaults reported here are derived from the Prison Service Incident Reporting System (IRS). This system processes high volumes of data supplied by prisons and is constantly being updated. The numbers indicated here provide a useful indication of the realistic scale of assaults incidents, many of which are relatively minor. The numbers should not be interpreted as absolute.
2. The increase in reported numbers of assaults reflects, in part, the increase in prison population.
3. There is a slight lag in reporting which means that the provisional number mentioned here will rise a little in the coming months.
4. Numbers need to be interpreted with caution as some assault incidents may involve more than one assaulter or more than one victim, e.g. one or more prisoners and a member of staff.
The numbers refer to the number of incidents not the number of prisoners and others involved.

Treasury

Regional Budget Allocations

10. Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make it his policy to create regional budget allocations. [149017]

Andy Burnham: In July 2005, the Government published 10-year indicative regional finding allocations for English regions outside London amounting to approximately £4 billion per annum, and covering economic development, transport and housing in July 2005.

The Government are conducting a Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration, which is exploring options for expanding the scope of regional funding allocations.

NHS

11. Mr. Bone: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on the NHS hospital building and equipment budget; and if he will make a statement. [149018]

Andy Burnham: I have regular conversations with ministerial colleagues but, as was convention under previous Governments, I will not disclose the specific details of such discussions. However, I can confirm


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Debt Relief

12. Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress has been made towards meeting the Government’s targets on debt relief; and if he will make a statement. [149021]

Kitty Ussher: Treasury shares a PSA target for the 2005-08 period to ensure that 90 per cent. of the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) countries that had reached Decision Point by end 2005 receive irrevocable debt relief by end 2008. Of the 28 countries concerned, 22 have now completed the HIPC process and we expect to meet our PSA target.

The UK remains committed to the full implementation and financing of the HIPC Initiative to ensure maximum debt relief for the world’s poorest countries.

HMRC Office: Central Ayrshire

13. Mr. Donohoe: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the likely effect on the area of the relocation of HM Revenue and Customs office in Central Ayrshire constituency. [149022]

Jane Kennedy: HM Revenue and Customs has more office space than it needs and will be reviewing all its accommodation, including that in central Ayrshire, to match it to future business needs and create significant savings. Its review process includes internal and external consultation on all its proposals, and an assessment of the impact of any office closure on local communities as well as on staff and customers. All Enquiry Centres will be kept in their current localities.

Skills Improvement

14. Mr. Touhig: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the economic impact of expenditure on improving skills in the past three years. [149023]

Angela Eagle: The Government have increased investment in real terms in the Further Education sector by 48 per cent. and in Higher Education Institutions by 20 per cent. between 1997 and 2006. This has supported improvements in the UK’s skills base at all levels.

As Lord Leitch set out in his independent report on the UK’s long-term skills needs, the increasing skills profile of the UK work force overtime has contributed to economic growth.

Lord Leitch also concluded that a skilled work force is increasingly critical if the UK is to continue to grow and meet global challenges.


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Disposable Household Income

15. Mr. Burns: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the trend in real disposable household incomes over the last 12 months. [149024]

Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Lichfield (Michael Fabricant) on the Floor of the House earlier today.

Schools

16. Mr. Marsden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the economic impact of expenditure on schools in the last 10 years. [149025]

Andy Burnham: Per pupil expenditure in England has risen from under £2,500 in 1997 to £5,550 today. This has supported a sustained increase in attainment—with 350,000 more children achieving five good GCSEs since 1997.

As Lord Leitch set out in his report on the UK’s long-term skills needs, the increasing skills profile of the UK work force over time has contributed to economic growth.

Lord Leitch also concluded that a skilled work force is increasingly critical if the UK is to continue to grow and meet global challenges.

Public Service Agreements

17. Mr. Allen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals for a public service agreement on early intervention with parents and children. [149026]

Andy Burnham: The performance management framework in the CSR07 period will include a set of cross-cutting public service agreements (PSAs) which will articulate Government’s highest-priority outcomes for the spending period. These will sit alongside a set of strategic objectives for each Department. Both sets will be published at the comprehensive spending review.

The Government are committed to delivering services for families which focus on prevention and early intervention, as set out in the “Every child matters” programme and most recently confirmed in the children and young people’s policy review “Aiming high for children: supporting families” (March 2007), published jointly by the Treasury and the then DfES.

Financial Impact Statements

18. Mr. Jack: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will introduce financial impact statements alongside the publication of new taxation proposals. [149027]

Angela Eagle: The estimated financial impacts to the Exchequer of any announced tax changes are shown in table B4 of the pre-Budget report or table A1 of the Budget.


12 July 2007 : Column 1588W

All measures are rigorously assessed and where appropriate we publish Impact Assessments alongside the Finance Bill. Separate financial impact statements are therefore unnecessary. Cabinet Office’s launch of the new Impact Assessment process in May demonstrates Government’s continued commitment to the transparency of its policy analysis.

Capital Gains Tax

19. Andrew George: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the rules relating to capital gains tax on second homes. [149028]

Jane Kennedy: The Government keep all aspects of the tax system—including the rules relating to capital gains tax and second homes—under review.

Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people paid capital gains tax in each year since 1996-97. [148563]

Jane Kennedy: Estimates of the number of payers of capital gains tax in each year from 1996-97 are available in National Statistics table 14.1 on the HM Revenue and Customs website at:

Defence Export Services Organisation

Mr. Gerald Howarth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions his Department has had with the Ministry of Defence on the future of the Defence Export Services Organisation. [149321]

Andy Burnham: Treasury Ministers and officials discuss a wide range of issues with organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Income Tax: Tax Rates and Bands

Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the likely change in the number of people who will claim tax credits as a result of the abolition of the 10 pence starting rate of income tax in the financial year 2008-09; and if he will make a statement; [149012]

(2) what estimate he has made of the likely change in the number of people who will claim tax credits as a result of the abolition of the 10 pence starting rate of income tax in the financial year 2008-09; and if he will make a statement. [149020]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Gentlemen to the answer my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave to the hon. Members for Bournemouth, West (Sir John Butterfill), for Blaby (Mr. Robathan) and for East Dunbartonshire (Jo Swinson) on the Floor of the House earlier today.


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Tax Allowances: Transport

Norman Lamb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average time taken to process tax rebates on mileage allowances was in each region in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [148930]

Angela Eagle: HM Revenue and Customs does not keep a record of the information requested.


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