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Mr. Wills: The Government's intention to reintroduce triggering in relation to local candidate expenditure at parliamentary general elections was announced in the White Paper, Party finance and expenditure in the United Kingdom (CM7329), published and debated by both Houses of Parliament on 16 June 2008. The Political Parties and Elections Bill containing the measure was introduced on 17 July 2008. This provided opportunity for scrutiny and discussion of the Bill prior to its detailed consideration by Parliament.
The principle of triggeringthat expenditure limits be set in terms of the purpose for which expenditure is incurred rather than in terms of any specified time periodwas specifically endorsed by the 1998 Neill Committee Report and enjoyed broad cross-party support, prior to its removal by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration his Department has given to the introduction of guidance on the operation of the proposed new trigger rules in the Political Parties and Elections Bill to supersede the case law applicable to the old trigger rules. 
Mr. Wills: The Bill provides that, in addition to the existing power granted to the Electoral Commission to issue a code of practice giving guidance on the list of regulated matters for candidate spending (set out in Part 1 of Schedule 4A of the Representation of the People Act 1983, as inserted by the Electoral Administration Act 2006), the Commission may also include in any code of practice guidance on when expenditure will be for election purposes (i.e. the circumstances in which the candidate spending limits are triggered).
This guidance will provide, where necessary, further clarity as to how the new rules will work in practice. It will not supplant any observations set out in existing case law as to how triggering will work in practice provided that those observations remain relevant. The precise relevance of pre-existing case law to the new regime will depend on the circumstances of each case and will ultimately be a matter for the courts to decide.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 15 September 2008, Official Report, column 2028W, on political parties: finance, what consideration he gave to the Government (a) Codes of Practice on Guidance on Regulations and (b) Guide to Code of Practice on Guidance in formulating his policy on commencement of the new regulations on trigger rules before the issue of guidance on such regulations. 
Mr. Wills: The Government's Code of Practice on Guidance on Regulation and the Guide to the Code of Practice on Guidance apply to guidance provided by UK Government Departments and their Agencies. The guidance referred to in the previous question is to be provided by the Electoral Commission, not by the Government.
Clause 19(4) of the Political Parties and Elections Bill (Bill 141) provides that clause 10 of that Bill will come into force on the date on which the Bill receives Royal Assent. However, as my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor (Jack Straw)
indicated before the Justice Committee on 7 October 2008, I agree that guidance supplementing the Act should be in place from the Electoral Commission and, in the light of that, I am ready to look at the timing of the commencement of this clause.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice in what circumstances local candidate campaigning expenditure incurred before Royal Assent to the Political Parties and Election Bill will be treated as triggering a candidate's elections expenses. 
Mr. Wills: There is express provision in the Political Parties and Elections Bill (in clause 10(5)) to make clear that the amendments made by that section do not apply to any expenses incurred before the commencement of that section. However, under section 90ZA of the Representation of the People Act 1983, as amended by the Bill, where expenses are incurred following commencement in respect of a matter listed in Schedule 4A to that Act and then used for the purposes of the candidate's election, the limit will have been triggered.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with reference to the impact assessment for the Political Parties and Elections Bill, what the evidential basis was for the estimate of five minutes processing time per donation for the processing of a donation declaration; and what estimate his Department has made of the average time taken to verify the source of a donation. 
Mr. Wills: The estimates in the impact assessmentboth for processing declarations and for carrying out further verification checks in exceptional caseswere based on an assumption that the additional requirements on the parties to process declarations would be embedded to a degree within checks that they already carry out to ensure that the donations they accept are permissible under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
The Government accept that a number of political parties are concerned that the impact assessment underestimates the compliance burden that the requirements of clause 8 might impose on political parties, and that the impact assessment understates the potential burden. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and Lord Chancellor indicated before the Public Bill Committee on 4 November, while we are aware that greater transparency is essential, it should not be achieved at the cost of overburdening political parties, and I am ready to consider raising the thresholds at which declarations are required.
(3) on how many occasions during the last two years private by-hired taxis have been used to transport prisoners (a) to and (b) from Reading Young Offenders Institution; and what category the prisoners were on each occasion; 
(4) for what use, and in what circumstances, private taxis are used for the transporting of prisoners from (a) Reading Young Offenders Institution and (b) other young offenders institutions across the country; and what guidance is given by his Department on such use. 
Mr. Hanson: Taxis are rarely used for transporting prisoners to and from court or for inter-prison transfers. On occasions they may be used for emergency transport, including hospital admission where an ambulance is not appropriate.
Not all prisons record the number of taxi journeys involving prisoners. However, I can say that in the two years to 29 October, there have been 111 incoming taxis with prisoners to Reading prison and 231 taxis to transport prisoners from Reading prison.
James Brokenshire: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of re-offending rates after 12 months of those in receipt of (a) a drug treatment and testing order and (b) a drug rehabilitation requirement. 
The following table shows the reoffending rate for offenders who started a drug treatment and testing order (DTTO) and a drug rehabilitation requirement (DRR) only between 1 January and 31 March, and reoffended within a year. The reoffending rate for offenders serving DTTOs reduced by 11.1 per cent. (8.8 percentage points) between 2002 and 2005 (due to the introduction
of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 and the changes this had on probation, a comparison between 2002 and 2006 is not made).
The results do not differentiate between those who successfully complete the order and those who do not. The evaluation of the Drug Treatment and Testing Order (Home Office Finding 184) compared reoffending over a two year follow up period for those made subject to a Drug Treatment and Testing Order over the 18 months to 31 March 2000. This compared the reconviction rate of those who successfully completed the order (53 per cent.) with those who did not (91 per cent.).
|Number of offenders||Actual reoffending rate (percentage)||Number of offences per 100 offenders|
1. The drop in DTTOs from 2005 to 2006 is due to the introduction of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. From 4 April 2005, the main types of court order supervision served to offenders are community orders (CO) and suspended sentence orders (SSO). Under these orders, one or more of 12 possible requirements must be added, such as supervision, unpaid work and drug treatment. DRRs came into effect under the CJA03; as a result, reoffending rates could only be produced for the 2006 cohort. Due to small numbers, data for 2000 are not provided.
2. These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.
David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many young people arrived at Ashfield Young Offenders Institution for admission after 9 pm between July 2005 and March 2008; what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of young people arriving at the institution for admission after 9 pm; and if he will make a statement; 
Mr. Hanson: Escort contractors report that from a total of 7,847 young people under the age of 18 years escorted to HM young offenders institution, Ashfield between July 2005 and March 2008, 210 young people arrived after 9 pm. The Youth Justice Board is reviewing the current arrangements for the escort of young people.
Information provided by the escort contractors on the number of times that young people aged under 18 years arrived at a prison or young offenders institution after 7 pm in (a) 2006, (b) 2007, and (c) 2008, is in the
following tables. However, the agreed reception closure time for the majority of young offenders institutions is after 7 pm.
|Young prisoners aged under 18 years delivered to young offenders institutions and prisons after 1900 hours|
|1 January 2006 to 31 December 2006( 1)|
|Establishment||Number arriving after 1900 hours||Places available for young people under 18 years( 2)|
|(1) This excludes young prisoners escorted from courts in the London and South East area for which data is unavailable.|
(2) At 31 October 2006.
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