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Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of the average daily number of messages sent between officials or Ministers in all Departments by means of an instant message system; and by what means such messages are saved. 
Mr. Watson: The Department has made no estimate of the average daily number of messages sent between officials of Ministers in all Departments by means of an instant message system or the means by which such messages are saved.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much funding (a) his Department and (b) Capacitybuilders has given to (a) the Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations, (b) Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Support and (c) Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Learning Consortium in the last 24 months. 
Over the past two years Capacitybuilders has awarded grants to Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisations (GMCVO) under various programmes. GMCVO is the accountable body for Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Support and. Greater Manchester Voluntary Sector Learning Consortium, so these are not independent organisations.
|Financial year||Funding to GMCVO (£)|
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many full-time equivalent total employee jobs there were in English local government, according to Office for National Statistics figures, in each year since 1996.1 am replying in her absence. (232670)
The Office for National Statistics collects employment statistics for the public sector, including local government, as part of the Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey. A consistent time-series for full-time equivalents is only available back to 1999. The requested statistics are attached at Annex A.
|Annex A: Employment in local government, England , 1999 to 2008|
|Full-time equivalent, Thousand, not seasonally adjusted|
|Year( 1)||Local government|
|(1) Quarter 2 figures are used as an annual reference point.|
(Unpublished) Quarterly Public Sector Employment Survey.
The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what steps the Office for National Statistics is taking to improve its website. I am replying in her absence. (232690)
The Statistics and Registration Service Act gained Royal Assent in July 2007 and lead to the creation of the UK Statistics Authority on 1 April 2008 (the ONS is now the executive arm of the Authority). At the same time, the Authority (via ONS) launched a new Publication Hub which provides a single portal to new national statistics releases from the Government Statistical Service. ONS is currently undertaking a further redevelopment of this Hub, in order to provide additional services to users, including enhanced search and a new online Catalogue of official statistical products and supporting documentation, underpinned by a theme-based Taxonomy classification of all products. ONS is also redeveloping its own website in order to improve the way in which its statistics are presented, both in its publications and in the way in which the underlying data is made available to users. It is planned to implement the initial changes over the course of the next six months, and to continue to enhance the websites thereafter.
The impact of these changes will be to enhance public confidence in official statistics. Statistical press releases from government departments are already being published on the Hub; free from Ministerial influence. In addition, there will be an improved experience for users of statistics by providing greater coherence in the publication of statistics over the internet, consistent with the transformation of government agenda. Users should experience easier access to statistics, whilst at the same time gaining wider knowledge of all available official statistics. The provision of ONS datasets and an ability to analyse the data on-line will enhance the satisfaction of statistics users.
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question on the percentage of the workforce which will be aged over 65 in a) 2012, b) 2015 and c) 2020 (231840).
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) labour force projections published in January 2006, the percentage of the workforce aged 65 and over will be 2.2 per cent in 2012, 2.4 per cent in 2015 and 2.4 per cent in 2020.
The workforce is defined as those who are economically active which includes all people aged 16 and over who are either in employment or 1LO unemployed.
The labour force projections used to answer this question are ONSs best estimate available of the future labour force, based on demographic and activity rate trends available in 2005. Since their publication new population estimates and population projections have been produced. The labour force projections are therefore not consistent with figures published in the monthly Labour Market Statistics First Release. ONS is working to update the labour force projections using more recent activity rate trends and up-to-date population estimates and projections. We expect that revised labour force projections will be published in spring 2009.
Given these estimates are derived from a sample survey and use modelling techniques to project past trends forward over a long time period of time they are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
Further information on the methodology behind the current labour force projections is available from the National Statistics website at:
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what percentage of the workforce is aged over (a) 50, (b) 65 and (c) 70. (231952)
The workforce has been defined as people aged 16 and over who are economically active. Economically active comprises all those in employment plus those unemployed. The table provides the percentage shares of the total economically active population for the age groups requested.
The estimates are derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) using the latest data available (April-June 2008). As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.
The estimates in the table are derived from the LFS microdata which are weighted using the official population estimates published in autumn 2007. They are not entirely consistent with the figures published in the monthly Labour Market Statistics First Release which are weighted using more up-to-date population estimates.
|Percentage share of total economically active( 1) population, aged 16+, three month period ending June 2008, United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted|
|Age||Economically active (percentage)|
|(1) Economically active comprises all those in employment plus those unemployed|
It should be noted that the estimates:
exclude people living in most types of communal establishment (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites etc).
Labour Force Survey
As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your questions asking:
(1) what the latest population projections for the UK are for (a) 2031 (b) 2056 and (c) 2081. (232200);
(2) what estimate has been made of when the population of the UK is expected to reach 70 million (232201); and
(3) what estimate has been made of the effect on total UK population of zero net migration by (a) 2031 (b) 2056 and (c) 2081 (232202).
The most recent national population projections, based on the population at the middle of 2006, were published by the Office for National Statistics on 23 October 2007. The main, or principal, projections are based on the best assumptions available at the time of future expected levels of migration, fertility and mortality. The attached table below gives the projected UK population under the principal projections for the three years requested (1).
Under the principal projection the population of the UK is projected to reach 70 million in 2028 (2).
Variant projections are also produced to show the effect of plausible alternative projections based on higher or lower assumptions. These can be used to illustrate the consequences of a particular set of assumptions. ONS publish a variant projection based on the assumption that net migration is zero throughout the projection period. The projected UK population totals for this variant projection can also be found in the table below (3).
|Total projected population of the UK 2006based national population projections|
|Principal projection (1)||Zero migration variant projection (3)|
5. Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what conditionality is being applied to emergency UK lending to developing countries in response to the global financial situation. 
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The UK Government are not directly providing emergency lending to developing countries in response to the global financial situation. The Department for International Development (DFID) has already initiated a vulnerability study of our PSApublic service agreementcountries to help inform future funding decisions. We continue to support international financial institutions in their efforts to provide emergency financial support.
6. Miss McIntosh:
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of his Departments delivery
of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Michael Foster: DFID has responded swiftly to the humanitarian situation through capable operational agencies, particularly the World Food Programme (WFP). Since January, we have committed £16.5 million to alleviate food shortages. This includes:
(i) £11 million to help feed 4.5 million people; and
(ii) £5.5 million to provide agricultural input including seeds, fertilisers, technical assistance to boost food production, and credit.
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