The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Yvette Cooper): The Treasury and the Financial Services Authority are today publishing Helping you make the most of your money: a joint action plan for financial capability. This sets out how the Government and the FSA will support people in the short term with practical help on their money questions and worriesbefore they turn into problemsand to equip them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to manage their money well, now and in the future.
To achieve an operating profit before exceptional items, interest and dividends of £15.7 million for the financial year 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009.
Some 99.6 per cent. of significant real-world features are represented in the database within six months of completion.
To continuously improve the timeliness of the supply of Ordnance Surveys data to customers with a success rate not lower than 97 per cent.
To reduce carbon emissions from Ordnance Survey headquarters by 30 per cent. against the base year of 2000-01 by March 2009.
To achieve an improvement of 5 per cent. in online business on planned 2007-08 baseline transaction levels (for example, a rise from 94,816 to 99,557 transactions) through Ordnance Surveys OS MasterMap service and consumer e-commerce platform.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Derek Twigg): Key targets for the financial year 2008-09 for the following Ministry of Defence agencies have been placed in the Library of the House:
Defence Vetting Agency
Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency
People Pay and Pensions Agency
Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
The terms of reference for the project were: to review the main trends in food production and consumption in the UK; to analyse the implications of those trends for the economy, society and the environment (including analysing the main drivers of change); to assess the robustness of the current policy framework for food; and to review what should be the objectives of future food strategy and the measures needed to achieve them.
DEFRA will be leading work with the agriculture sector to look at ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change, with the food supply chain to reduce food and packaging waste, and with stakeholders in the food systemprimary producers, food manufacturers, retailers, and consumersto develop ideas for the future.
The Department of Health will be taking forward work to promote healthier eating with consumers and working with the food industry to increase consumption of fruit and vegetables. They will also lead on developing nutritional standards for food provided through public sector catering.
The Food Standards Agency will take forward work to make it easier for consumers to get Government information and advice on a healthy, environmentally sustainable diet. The FSA will improve information on healthier choice options from shopping for food to eating out, and will develop a whole food chain approach to food safety.
The Secretary of State for Health (Alan Johnson): Today, the Government have laid before Parliament their response to the report from the Health Select Committee on Modernising Medical Careers (MMC), Cm 7338.
The Department has already apologised for the difficulties encountered in 2007. It is crucial that Government learn lessons from these problems, rebuild their relationship with the medical profession at all levels and, in consultation with them, design the best possible structure and systems for recruiting and training doctors in future.
We are grateful to those who have carefully investigated the background to what went wrong in 2007. This includes the Health Committee itself and also Professor Sir John Tooke who was commissioned by the Department to carry out an independent review of MMC and who published his final report in January this year.
While acknowledging that we have some way to go, it is important to record that much progress has been made over the past yearnot least through the crucial work of the MMC England programme board which has produced a recruitment and selection process which is both more equitable and has the broad support of the medical profession.
We are grateful for the Select Committees recognition that the MMC England programme board has offered the medical profession a more meaningful role in decision-making, and that MMC governance arrangements have been simplified and improved.
A stakeholder event on this important issue was held on 3 June to meet the aim of working with the profession and building consensus on the way forward. There was broad agreement from participants that there should be no rush to introduce changes in 2009 although further work and debate are needed.
With regard to recruitment and selection, we agree that responsibility should be devolved to deaneries with some elements of central co-ordination and guidance and we further agree that there should be a staged recruitment process established in the future, expanding the additional flexibility which has already been built into the process for this year.
The House of Lords ruling on 30 April prevented the implementation of long-standing policy guidance for managing access to specialty training posts by doctors from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). However, there is wide consensus that Government intervention is necessary and justified to maximise the training opportunities for UK-trained doctors. The changes to the immigration rules announced by the Home Office in February 2008 have been well received by the medical profession and will stand while we discuss with all those involved how best to resolve this issue.
We have noted and considered carefully the proposals put forward by both Sir John Tooke and the Health Committee regarding the establishment of NHS Medical Education England (NHSMEE) and the future of the MMC England programme board.
There is a clear future for both types of organisation, NHSMEE providing high-level direction setting and scrutiny and the programme board continuing its successful focus on the operational implementation of policy.
Our proposals for NHSMEE contain some changes to the remit originally envisaged by Sir John but both the original case and counter-arguments both had strengths. In respect of the programme board, responsibility for operational requirements and the implementation of policy will be devolved to the NHS and operational elements of the existing Department of Health MMC team devolved to the control of a strategic health authority (SHA) on behalf of the NHS in a way that carefully ensures business continuity of a function which is recognised as having made progress.
The Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Mr. Jack Straw): In the Prison Policy Update document published in January this year I announced a major drive to overcome some of the principal barriers to the reform and rehabilitation of offenders. As part of that I asked the director general of the then Prison Service to commission a review of the supply of illicit drugs into prisons. As a result, Mr. David Blakey, a former inspector of constabulary and chief constable of West Mercia, was commissioned to conduct a review into the effectiveness of HM Prison Services measures for disrupting the supply of drugs into prisons, and to make recommendations for improvements. I am grateful to Mr. Blakey for his considered and well-targeted report.
The report makes 10 recommendations, ranging from suggestions to roll out mobile phone blocking technology to fostering the good work we have been taking forward in intelligence. The director general of the National Offender Management Service and I have accepted all of the recommendations and I have asked him to implement them as soon as practicable.
reducing demand, through targeted interventions for low, moderate and severe drug-misusers;
reducing supply, through security measures and drug testing programmes;
establishing effective through-care links to ensure continuity of treatment post-release in order to safeguard the gains made in custody.
NOMS has in place a comprehensive drug treatment framework, based on the national treatment agencys revised Models of Care, to address the different needs of drug misusers in prison. Treatment interventions include: clinical services (detoxification and/or maintenance prescribing); CARATs (counselling, assessment, referral, advice and throughcare services)a range of interventions that, following assessment, deliver treatment and support; and drug rehabilitation programmes which focus on addressing the attitudes and behaviour of drug misusers.
Copies of the Blakey report and the full, detailed Government response have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses, the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office. Both documents are also available at: http://www.justice.gov.uk .