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Jonathan Shaw: Scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea in 2004, suggested that the bass stock is fished sustainably. A more recent study assessing bass stocks in British coastal waters by the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) suggests the biomass of the adult population has approximately doubled between 1995 and 2004, though there is no estimate of the absolute biomass of bass stocks. Catches in the UK fishery increased from 1234 to 2211 tonnes over the same period. Cefas expects to update the stock assessment for bass later this year.
Mr. Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether UK aid channelled through the EU may be earmarked by the UK for specific (a) purposes and (b) countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: UK aid channelled through the EU cannot be earmarked for specific countries or purposes. This aid is managed by the European Commission, which bases its country allocation decisions on agreed criteria, and develops its strategies for each country on the basis of the development priorities of that countrys Government. The UK and the other member states oversee the Commissions decisions on aid allocations through attendance at the relevant management committees.
Mr. Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the total amount of EU aid to Commonwealth countries was in each of the last five years; and what proportion was attributable to the UK in each year. 
|Table 1: ODA to Commonwealth Countrie s from EU members and EC, 2001- 05|
|EU Members and EC ODA to Commonwealth Countries||UK ODA to Commonwealth Countries|
|(1 )In 2005, Nigeria received large sums of debt relief of £3,024 million from DAC EU members, of which £1,136 million from UK.|
Mr. Plaskitt: Estimates of the numbers entitled to, but not claiming, council tax benefit are not available below the level of Great Britain. Latest estimates of the numbers entitled but not claiming at that level can be found in Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up in 2005-06. A copy of the report is available in the Library.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's projected spending is on advertising and promotional campaigns for (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09, broken down by cost relating to (i) television, (ii) radio and (iii) print media. 
Mrs. McGuire: The Department for Work and Pensions runs a number of promotional campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of rights and responsibilities among the general public, benefit claimants and employers. Some of these communications campaigns include advertising through TV, radio and press media and are detailed in the following table.
The table gives the figures for projected media spend to the end of the financial year 2007-08. These figures remain provisional as we continually assess the effectiveness of our activities throughout the remainder of the year.
|2007 to 2008|
|Campaign||TV 000||Radio 000||Print media 000||Total (by campaign)|
| Notes: 1. The table does not include the following as the information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost: spend by non-departmental public bodies for which the Department if responsible details of highly localised publicity activity by the Departments customer facing businesses recruitment or procurement advertising. The figures in the table refer to media spend only excluding production, direct mail activity, public relations and other costs. Some of our campaigns supporting customer understanding of entitlements and support do not use advertising and therefore have not been listed. 2. All figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand. 3. All figures are quoted excluding VAT.|
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of contracted provision being delivered by a private sector provider for which his Department is responsible was won against a public sector bid; and what the value is of such private contracts. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were employed by his Department on 1 January in each of the last five years; and how many of these staff were (a) permanent employees, (b) temporary staff and (c) contractors. 
Mrs. McGuire: Information on the number of staff employed by the Department for Work and Pensions as at 31 March 2007 is published by the Office for National Statistics in table 6 of the Quarterly Public Sector Employment First Release at:
Statistics on the number of contractors employed by the Department are not published. The civil service statistics represent those employees paid directly from the Departments payroll. Any contractors employed via agencies and so not paid directly by the Department are not included.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of employees in (a) his Department and (b) each (i) executive agency and (ii) non-departmental public body funded by his Department are above state retirement age. 
Mrs. McGuire: The number and percentage of employees above state pension age, of 65 for men and 60 for women, for Departments and Executive agencies is not available from published sources, but information collected from the last Annual Civil Service Employment Survey in September 2006 is in the following table.
|Number of staff||Percentage of staff|
Mrs. McGuire: Over the Comprehensive Spending Review 2007 period (2008-11) the Department has lead responsibility for two PSAs; Maximise Employment Opportunity for All and Tackle Poverty and Promote Independence and Well-being in Later Life.
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