|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Evans: To ask the Leader of the House what the cost was of publishing the report of the Review Body on Senior Salaries on its review of parliamentary pay, pensions and allowances in 2007. 
Jane Kennedy: The information requested is not available. The child benefit system does not keep up to date information on whether a recipient is a single parent or part of a couple as it does not affect entitlement.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse arising from the loss of the two child benefit discs containing confidential personal data. 
Jo Swinson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what test of what constitutes reasonably required information under section 8 of the National Audit Act 1983 is carried out on data transferred from his Department to the National Audit Office; 
Jane Kennedy: Each request is judged on a case by case basis and the National Audit Office should provide a clear explanation of why they want to see particular data and limit requests to that data required to fulfil their audit responsibilities.
Following the child benefit data loss incident, HMRC have introduced more stringent data handling procedures, which require that the bulk transfers of customer data only take place with adequate security protection.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 3 December 2007, Official Report, column 1026W, on fuel: excise duties, how much and what percentage of the increase in fuel duty announced in Budget 2007 has been used to fund public services; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: All tax revenues, including those accruing from fuel duty, contribute to the overall level of financial resources available to fund the Government's spending priorities including public services.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department issues advice to other Government departments on which inflation measure to use to uprate their items of revenue and expenditure. 
Yvette Cooper: In general, it is the responsibility of individual Government Departments to determine the appropriate inflation measure to use in uprating items of revenue and expenditure although specific items will be discussed with Treasury as part of Treasury's role in controlling public expenditure (as set out in the Managing Public Money publication, available on the Treasury website).
In respect of revenues, as stated in Managing Public Money fees, charges and levies should be reviewed regularly to achieve full cost recovery and are therefore based on actual costs rather than indexation.
In respect of some of the more significant items of expenditure, the practices for uprating social security benefits administered by the Department of Work and Pensions can be found in Appendix A of The Abstract of Statistics for Benefits, National Insurance Contributions, and Indices of Prices and Earnings, 2006 Edition, published by the Department for Work and Pensions.
The number of vehicles over 25 years of age that are currently subject to payment of vehicle excise duty is 183,000. The most recently available licensing data do not completely disaggregate this number by applicable vehicle excise duty rate.
An extension of the exemption would potentially affect cars, vans, motorcycles, motorised tricycles, buses and heavy goods vehicles across all vehicle excise rates excepting those for vehicles registered March 2001 onwards. However, it is not therefore possible to determine the cost to the Exchequer of extending the exemption.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether all the monies lent by the Bank of England to Northern Rock plc and underwritten by HM Treasury are secured by a fixed charge over specific assets. 
Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Gentlemen to the letters the Chancellor sent to the chairs of the Public Accounts Committee and the Treasury Select Committee on 11 October 2007, which are available in the House Library.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what benchmarking he has undertaken in relation to UK tax policy on one earner married couples with children amongst OECD member states; 
Jane Kennedy: The principle of independent taxation means each individual has his or her own allowances and income tax rate bands. Levels of financial support in the tax credit system are determined by the level of need, and do not favour any particular household composition.
As a result of the Government's changes to taxes and benefits, 600,000 children have been lifted out of relative poverty and 1.8 million children lifted out of absolute poverty in the UK between 1998-99 and 2005-06.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on providing information to businesses on age discrimination in each of the last 10 years; and by what means this information was provided. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The expenditure in years prior to 2002-03 was by the former Department for Education and Employment (DFEE) and records are not available. The available expenditure information is in the table.
|Financial year||Expenditure (£000)|
An Age Positive Week was delivered on three occasions between 2002 and 2005. This employer-focused burst of activity and information comprised ministerial activities, employer events and business awards designed to focus media and employer attention on age and workplace issues and resulted in much increased awareness of the issues via extensive media coverage.
Between 2005 and 2006 we worked with a number of leading business-focused organisations to create the Age Partnership Group, which promoted the Be Ready campaign, launched with a newsletter mailed to
1.4 million employers with information to help them prepare for age legislation. A full evaluation of this initiative confirmed that 95 per cent. of those businesses that ordered the detailed guidance were pleased with the helpful content of the material. To supplement this, tailored publications in employer-favoured top-tips, bulleted or tick-box format have been circulated to businesses to better facilitate their understanding of how best to tackle age discrimination in the workplace and enjoy the resultant business benefits.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what meetings of the cross-departmental ministerial group on child poverty have taken place since 1 January 2006; and who attended each meeting. 
A new Cabinet sub-committee, Domestic Affairs (Families, Children and Young People), to be chaired by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, will have oversight of child poverty targets such as the Child Poverty Public Service Agreement.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance his Department issues on recruitment, diversity and employee rights when awarding contracts to external providers for work for his Department. 
Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 28 January 2008]: It is a mandatory requirement for all external providers of services to the Department to comply with the full range of social legislation, including that covering recruitment, diversity and employee rights. These requirements are set out in the tendering instructions issued to organisations wishing to bid for contracts, and again in the Departments contractual terms and conditions.
John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what monitoring systems are in place on diversity, equality and employee rights standards for departmental work awarded by contract to external providers. 
[holding answer 28 January 2008]: The compliance of external providers with standards of diversity, equality and employee rights is regularly
monitored by my Departments contract management staff. Contracts can be terminated in the event of a serious breach of these standards.
The Department has a separate contract with an independent external organisation to check that providers have appropriate diversity and equality policies in place; these checks are made before contracts are awarded, and repeated annually thereafter.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people work in his Departments customer insight team; and what the (a) remit and (b) objectives of the team are. 
Mrs. McGuire: The remit of the newly created customer insight function is to act as a centre of excellence, providing professional support and challenge and building organisational capability to ensure the customer is placed at the heart of the Departments service transformation programme.
The team operates a flexible resource model, consisting of a small core team (currently 11 people) with technical customer insight knowledge and expertise. The core team is supplemented by project resource with the necessary business knowledge to deliver against the following objectives:
to generate a deep knowledge and understanding of our customersto inform the design, development and delivery of policies and services;
to build organisational capability across the Department to generate and apply customer insight; and
to challenge and influence attitudes and behavioursto promote a culture that puts our customers at the heart of everything we do.
Mr. Plaskitt: The information requested is provided in the following table. DWP paper recycling figures are reported in Sustainable Development in Government reports. The figures shown for 2006-07 will be reported by the Sustainable Development Commission early in 2008.
|Paper recycled (Tonnes)|
|(1) Figures for 2002-03 include information on waste generated from buildings on the former DSS estate only. Information on waste generated from buildings on the former Employment Service estate are not available.|
(2) Figures for 2003-04 include information for the whole year on waste generated from buildings on the former DSS estate, and for one quarter only, for waste generated from buildings on the former Employment Service Estate.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|