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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether his Department requires its employees to retire at the latest at 65 years of age; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department's retirement age is 65, although staff can retire at any age between 60 and 65 subject to giving three months notice. As the Department's retirement age was increased from age 60 to 65 in 2002, staff who continued working beyond age 60 are only now reaching 65. Staff are notified eight months before they are 65 of their right to request to work after they are 65 and their line manager considers their request.
The Department has decided to retain the default retirement age of 65 in the short term. This will be reviewed at the beginning of 2008 ahead of the wider review of the default retirement age in 2011.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) who will lead the feasibility study on the prospects for a Severn Barrage; which organisations will be contributing to the study; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what funds his Department has (a) committed and (b) spent on the development of a tidal power project off the north Pembrokeshire coast. 
Malcolm Wicks: A total of £3,226,449 has been committed through the Technology Strategy Board's technology programme (formerly DTIs technology programme) to assist Lunar Energy Ltd develop the novel tidal turbine technology that would be used for the project.
Mr. Crabb: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the likely timetable for (a) gaining planning consents and (b) construction of the tidal power scheme proposed by Lunar Energy and E.on. 
Malcolm Wicks: No such assessment has been made as there has been no application made for consent under the Electricity Act 1989 in respect of the tidal power scheme proposed by Lunar Energy Limited and E.on UK plc.
Edward Miliband [holding answer 27 November 2007]: The Central Sponsor for Information Assurance forms part of the work of the Intelligence, Security and Resilience Group (ISS). Details for this group are included in the Department's annual report and accounts, copies of which are available in the Library of the House for the reference of Members.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what the percentage turnover of staff was in (a) his Department and (b) his Departments agencies in (i) the last 12-month period and (ii) the last 24-month period for which figures are available; 
The turnover rate for the Cabinet Office for the 2006-07 financial year was 26.9 per cent. and for the 24 months from April 2005 to March 2007 period was 26.5 per cent. The Department has a higher level of turnover compared to other Government Departments, because there are significant numbers of staff on fixed term appointments, on loan from other Government Departments or on secondment from external organisations, bringing in people with relevant skills/expertise to work on current priorities.
Turnover figures include all staff who have left the relevant Department in the relevant period, including staff who have moved to other Government Departments, as well as staff who have left the civil service.
Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how many secondments of staff were made (a) to and (b) from his Department in each year since 1997; which organisations staff were seconded (i) to and (ii) from; how many staff were seconded in each year; for how long each secondment lasted; and what the cost was of each secondment in each year; 
(2) how many secondments of staff were made (a) to and (b) from the Office of the Leader of the House in each year since 1997; which organisations staff were seconded (i) to and (ii) from; how many staff were seconded in each year; for how long each secondment lasted; and what the cost was of each secondment in each year. 
Gillian Merron: I have placed in the Libraries of the House details of secondments to and from the Cabinet Office since 2002-03, including the Office of the Leader of the House. The Cabinet Office does not hold the information in the detail requested for secondments before April 2002.
Costs of secondments cannot be provided as salary and pension undertakings are split according to the terms of each secondment and are therefore not held centrally. It is, however, usual for the host organisation to bear the cost for a secondee.
Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what plans the Government have to co-ordinate the co-ordinating role of the Social Exclusion Task Force with the co-ordinating role of the Child Poverty Unit; and where responsibility lies for such co-ordination. 
Edward Miliband [holding answer 3 December 2007]: The Social Exclusion Task Force sits at the centre of Government in order to facilitate collaborative working on social exclusion across Government Departments. It works closely with a number of key units, including the Child Poverty Unit, which concentrates on child poverty issues.
Norman Lamb: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many officials in (a) the Cabinet Office and (b) No. 10 Downing Street have private health insurance provided as part of their employment package. 
Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the average cash incentive payment or expenses payment given to participants to take part in citizens' juries was in each citizens' jury so far held. 
Edward Miliband: The Cabinet Office held a day long deliberative forum on the draft legislative programme. 76 members of the general public attended this event, with an average payment of £207 for each person who attended, which included the cost of their accommodation and travel.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what the average national wage was in each year since 1997. (170956)
Levels of earnings are estimated from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), and are provided for full-time employees on adult rates of pay, whose pay for the survey period was not affected by absence. The ASHE, carried out in April each year, is the most comprehensive source of earnings information in the United Kingdom.
ASHE results can be obtained on the National Statistics website at:
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the average wage was for persons aged between 16 and 25 years (a) in total and (b) for those (i) with and (ii) without higher education qualifications in each parliamentary constituency in the Eastern region in each year since 1997. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary question about what the average wage was for persons aged between 16 and 25 years (a) in total and (b) for those (i) with and (ii) without higher education qualifications in each parliamentary constituency in the Eastern region in each year since 1997. (169827)
The attached table gives the average gross weekly earnings of full-time employees aged 16-24, with and without higher education qualifications, resident in the East region and United Kingdom. The figures shown are estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) for the three month period ending June of each year, from 1997 to 2007. The LFS sample is too small to provide estimates for each Eastern parliamentary constituency. The survey does not collect information about the earnings of self-employed people.
The Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) is the principal source of statistics on employee earnings. However, since the ASHE does not collect information about qualification levels, the estimates given in the reply are based on the Labour Force Survey (LFS) microdata.
As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
|Table 1: Average gross weekly earnings of full-time( 1) employees aged 16-24, with and without higher education qualification by area of residence|
|Not seasonally adjusted|
|Mean gross weekly earnings (£)|
|Three months ending June||With higher education qualifications( 2)||Without higher education qualifications( 2)||Total( 3)|
|(1) The LFS full-time/Dart-time split is based on respondents' self-classification of their employment status. (2) Higher education includes decrees or equivalent qualifications and other higher education qualifications. (3) Total includes people whose Qualification level is unknown. (4) Comparable estimates are not available for these periods. Note: As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. Source: Labour Force Survey.|
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