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Textiles: Working Conditions

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what work his Department is undertaking to alleviate poor working conditions for textile and clothing workers in (a) India, (b) Pakistan, (c) Cambodia, (d) Vietnam and (e) Laos. [205686]

Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development (DFID) supports the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) which assists companies seeking to improve the conditions of workers in their supply chains. ETI’s member companies include leading garment retailers such as Gap Inc, Marks and Spencer, Monsoon, New Look and Zara which source a large proportion of their garments from India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. These retailers have all committed to working with their textile and garment suppliers to improve working conditions for workers making their products.

In India, ETI is supporting the National Homeworkers Group which aims to improve the conditions of homeworkers involved in embellishing fabric, such as adding embroidery or beads. Thousands of homeworkers in villages in Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s poorest regions, have received training in health and safety, record keeping and improved access to insurance and healthcare. They have reported greater confidence and awareness of their rights.

DFID India has in the recent past provided small-scale support through the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to women weavers in Rajasthan, with the aim of encouraging the state government to improve their working conditions. A programme to be introduced later in 2008 will support the ILO in promoting decent work in India. This may include support to textile and clothing workers.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Apprentices: Higher Education

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of learners progressed from the completion of a level 3 advanced apprenticeship to (a) a foundation degree course and (b) an undergraduate degree course in the latest period for which figures are available, broken down by apprenticeship framework. [205773]

Mr. Lammy: Information is not available to answer this question. We are undertaking work within my Department to improve the data so we can better understand progression between different educational levels.

Further Education

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the completion rate of adults enrolled on a level three further education course was in the most recent year for which figures are available. [205530]

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Bill Rammell: The Learning and Skills Council publish success rates in a Statistical First Release (SFR). The latest available SFR contains data for 2005/06 and is available in the Library and at:

In 2005/06 the success rate for learners aged 19+ doing level 3 long courses in Further Education (which excludes provision delivered through Work-Based Learning or Train to Gain) was 63 per cent. This was an increase from 54 per cent. in 2003/04 and 58 per cent. in 2004/05.

Higher Education: Student Numbers

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many part-time undergraduate students there were in England at the latest date for which figures are available; [206274]

(2) how many and what proportion of part-time undergraduate students in England studied (a) between 50 and 59 per cent. of a full-time course, (b) between 60 and 74 per cent. of a full-time course and (c) 75 per cent. or more of a full-time course in the last year for which figures are available. [206315]

Bill Rammell: The latest available figures show that there were 508,955 part-time undergraduate students from the UK and overseas enrolled at English higher education institutions in the 2006/07 academic year. Comparable figures for the 2007/08 academic year will be available in January 2009.

The full-time equivalence of these part-time undergraduate students is shown in the table.

Part-time undergraduate students( 1) by full-time equivalence: English higher education institutions, 2006/07 academic year
Full-time equivalence (Percentage) Number Proportion (Percentage)

Under 50.00









75.00 or more






(1) Includes all students from the UK and overseas. Notes: Figures are on a HESA Standard Registration population basis. Numbers are rounded to the nearest five and proportions are rounded to one decimal place. Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) Student Record.


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many smoking shelters were built at each of his Department's London buildings in each of the last five years. [205040]

Mr. Lammy: Accommodation and related facilities for my Department are provided on our behalf by the Department for Children Schools and Families and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. Any details relating to smoking shelters will therefore be included in answers given by those Departments.

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Students: Loans

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many student loans have been written off in each of the last five years, broken down by the cause of the write-off. [200281]

Bill Rammell: Borrowers domiciled in England and Wales whose loans have been written off—mainly on statutory grounds of age, death and disability—are at Table 1. Of 2.5 million loans at the end of 2006/07, the numbers of loans written off during that year represented around 0.1 per cent. of the total.

Statutory grounds for student loans to be written off (for both mortgage-style (MS) and income-contingent (ICR) loans unless otherwise stated) are:

Minor, residual loan balances can also be written off on other, non-statutory grounds.

Table 1: Publicly-owned income-contingent and mortgage-style loans which have been written off (rounded to the nearest 10)
Financial Year Age( 1) Deceased Disabled Other( 2)


























(1 )Loan cancellations on grounds of age have risen due to the increasing age of borrowers since the first loans were taken out (from 1990 onwards). The rise also reflects the increasing volume of loans. (2) So far, with the exception of 2006-07 the majority of write-offs take place on statutory grounds. The increase in this category in 2006-07 reflects a bulk clearance of cases which took place that year. (3) 2006-07 data are provisional.


Banks: Regulation

Philip Davies: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received on the adequacy of the Basel 2 regulatory regime; whether he plans to develop a Basel 3 regime; and if he will make a statement. [204126]

Kitty Ussher: The Basel 2 framework, which makes improvements to the alignment of capital requirements to underlying risks taken, has been adopted in the EU through the capital requirements directive (CRD), The Treasury worked closely with the FSA and industry on EU negotiations on the CRD. That directive came into force on 1 January 2008. The Financial Services Authority has maintained a number of industry standing groups to deal with any issues arising from the implementation of the directive.

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In October last year the G7 asked the Financial Stability Forum (FSF) to analyse the underlying causes of the ongoing turbulence in the world's financial markets. The FSF reported to G7 Finance Ministers in April, who endorsed the report. The FSF's recommendations included enhancements to the prudential oversight of capital, liquidity and risk management, including strengthening the prudential framework for financial institutions' securitisation and off-balance sheet activities under Basel 2.

The Chancellor maintains a close dialogue with the financial services sector on a wide range of issues.

Child Tax Credit: Warrington

Helen Southworth: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many families in Warrington, South constituency were in receipt of child tax credit in each year since the tax credit was introduced; and how much was paid in such credits in that area in each such year. [206314]

Jane Kennedy: HMRC do not produce statistics separately for child tax credit and working tax credit.

However, estimates of the number of families with tax credits in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 in each constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes, are produced in Table 3 of the HMRC publications ‘Child and Working Tax Credits. Finalised Awards. Geographical Analysis’ for each relevant year. These are available on the HMRC website at:

The number of out-of-work families includes those who are receiving the equivalent level of support via income support and jobseekers allowance.

Information on the average annual entitlement for families in each constituency is also available in Table 3 of these publications.

The same information for 2006-07 is due to be published on 20 May 2008.

Conference Centres

Mr. Willis: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his Department provides any (a) capital and (b) revenue support to any conference or exhibition centre; and if he will make a statement. [199434]

Angela Eagle: The Treasury does not make any capital or revenue payments in support of any conference or exhibition centres.

Departmental Pensions

Danny Alexander: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cash equivalent transfer value is of the public sector pensions of the 10 highest paid members of staff in his Department and its executive agencies; and if he will make a statement. [200690]

Angela Eagle: Details of the cash equivalent transfer values of pensions for senior staff in HM Treasury and its agencies can be found in the relevant Resource Accounts. The details of the latest published accounts are as follows:

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Departmental Sick Leave

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many working days were lost by his Department due to stress-related illness in each of the last 24 months. [198946]

Angela Eagle: Details of the working days lost by HM Treasury due to stress-related illnesses for each month from January 2006 to December 2007 are shown in the following table:

2006 2007





































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