|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Borrowers who graduated in 2007 are not required to begin repaying their loans until April 2008; consequently the April 2008 figures in the table cover only those borrowers who have chosen to fully repay their loans before any repayments are due. The table reflects the change from mortgage-style to income-contingent loans. The figures relating to 2001 graduates, who started to repay their loans from April 2002, are significantly higher because the normal period for repaying mortgage-style loans is five to seven years.
Borrowers with up to four mortgage-style loans repay over five years when their income exceeds the repayment threshold; those with five or more loans repay over seven years. The threshold for borrowers with mortgage-style loans is 85 per cent. of national average earnings, currently £25,287 from 1 September 2007. Borrowers are able to apply for deferment of repayments if their income is below this. Income-contingent loans replaced mortgage-style loans from 1998. Borrowers with income contingent loans repay at a rate of 9 per cent. of earnings above £15,000 a year. Repayments are usually collected through the tax system by employers, in the same way as income tax and national insurance contributions. Self-employed borrowers make repayments through the self assessment system.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many cases of multiple applications from individuals for student loans were recorded in each of the last five years for which figures are available. 
Bill Rammell: The responsibility for assessing student support applications in England rests with local authorities and therefore complete information is not centrally available about the number of multiple applications identified. From 2009-10 the SLC will assess all new applications for student support, and records will be held centrally.
Where local authorities suspect fraud at the application stage, they will not process the application until they are completely satisfied with the documentary evidence. Where payments have been made, the local authorities may prosecute the students, or report the matter to the police for prosecution, and recover any overpayments.
The Student Loans Company (SLC) run a range of checks using industry-standard software systems which pick up potential multiple applications. Payments are suspended by the SLC until students contact their local
authority and the case is thoroughly checked. Since 2004, 388 cases such cases have been identified, though not all are fraudulent applications.
Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will make an estimate of the cost to the public purse of raising the student loan repayment income threshold to (a) £18,000, (b) £20,000, (c) £21,000, (d) £22,000, (e) £23,000, (f) £24,000 and (g) £25,000; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The estimated additional resource cost for each £1,000 increase in the current £15,000 repayment threshold is an initial £200 million (for existing loans) plus an ongoing cost of £80 million per year (for new loans). Increasing the threshold to £25,000 would therefore cost an estimated £2 billion plus £800 million per year.
The income threshold is one of the main features of the income contingent loan scheme. This protects borrowers when they need it as they only pay their loan back once they earn over the threshold. Borrowers currently repay nothing until they earn over £15,000. This strikes the right balance, making payments affordable to the individual and student loans affordable to the public purse. We are committed to maintaining the repayment threshold at £15,000 until 2010 when we will review it.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he is taking to increase the provision of technical and vocational training and education in Peterborough; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council for Cambridgeshire have undertaken a review of their provision of technical and vocational training and education. As a result they have increased their apprenticeship contracted in-learning volume by 10 per cent. in 2007/08 and introduced apprenticeships for people aged 25 years plus. The LSC is already planning further increases in provision for 2008/09 based on the needs identified in their review. The Government have laid out their plans for improving the quality of technical and vocational education training for both young people and adults in apprenticeships in World-class Apprenticeships: Unlocking Talent, Building Skills for All.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when he expects to answer Question (a) 181532 and (b) 181601 on departmental travel, tabled on 21 January 2008 by the hon. Member for Taunton; and what the reason for the time taken to respond is. 
The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills was created by machinery of government changes at the end of June 2007. A consequence of these changes is that DIUS relies on management information supplied by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) to answer questions relating to departmental matters, which impacts on the speed of response.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what (a) capital, (b) revenue funding and (c) other support, including donation of land or buildings, (i) the Government and (ii) the European Union has provided for (A) the Scottish Exhibition Centre and Scottish Conference Centre in Glasgow, (B) the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh, (C) the Arena and Conference Centre, Liverpool, (D) the International Conference Centre and the Symphony Hall, Birmingham, (E) the Bournemouth International Conference Centre, Bournemouth, (F) the Brighton Centre, Brighton, (G) the Riviera Centre, Torquay, (H) the Excel Centre, the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, (I) the Manchester Central, Manchester and (J) the Harrogate International Centre, Harrogate; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which council had the highest number of complaints made to the Standards Board of England from its councillors about its councillors according to records held by the Standards Board in the latest period for which figures are available. 
John Healey: In 2007-08, the council whose members had the largest number of misconduct allegations made against them by fellow councillors was Somerset county council, where there were 30 such allegations, 29 from a single councillor.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department have had with representatives of Pochin Group plc on eco-towns. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst of 5 March 2008, Official Report, column 2886W, on electoral register: fraud, to which local authorities the legal advice has been circulated; and if she will place a copy in the Library of the advice. 
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 6 March 2008 to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps), Official Report, column 2775W, on empty property, what the locations were of each of the properties for which public requests were received; and for what reasons each request was refused or accepted. 
Mr. Dhanda: The following table lists the land or properties involved in the 24 public request to order disposal cases referred to in the answer of 6 March 2008; whether a direction was issued; and the reason why a direction was or was not issued.
|Site||Direction to order disposal||Reason|
|Site||Direction to order disposal||Reason|
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to ensure that the fire safety standards of composite panels are maintained; and what guidance she has issued to fire authorities on the topic. 
Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 25 March 2008]: Fire safety risk assessment undertaken under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 should take account of the type of construction used in any building. The Department has issued technical fire safety risk assessment guidance which includes reference to composite panels (also known as insulated core panels). This guidance is available on the Department's website at:
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many fire and rescue services had taken delivery of information technology infrastructure specifically earmarked for use as part of the FiReControl project by 31 December 2007. 
Mr. Dhanda: None. However, as part of the FiReControl project new mobilising equipment will be delivered to around 1,500 fire stations over the next 2.5 years. On receipt of a mobilisation message from a regional control centre, this new equipment will trigger station end components to effect a mobilisation. This includes sounding alarms, triggering retained alerters, switching on lights, opening doors and printing mobilisation messages.
In March this year new mobilising equipment has started to be installed in fire stations in Staffordshire and North Yorkshire. Infrastructure to enable FRA's to prepare data to support the FiReControl system will also start to be fitted in FRA buildings in April.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|