Previous Section Index Home Page

13 Nov 2008 : Column 1308W—continued

These estimates are based on a number of assumptions the Department has made around the number of lone parents who will be on income support when entitlement ceases, and the destination of lone parents when they lose entitlement.

We have commissioned a comprehensive evaluation of the changes and will monitor their impact over time. These estimates are sensitive to the particular assumptions made and will be fully tested in the evaluation.

Social Security Benefits: Reform

Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department has received a response from the Scottish Executive to its consultation on the Welfare Reform Green Paper. [235539]

Kitty Ussher: Yes, we have received a response from the Scottish Government.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he plans to answer Question 228497, on carers, tabled on 15 October 2008. [235622]

James Purnell: I replied to the hon. Member’s question on 10 November 2008, Official Report, column 925W.

Prime Minister

Departmental Public Expenditure

Mr. Heald: To ask the Prime Minister what the total cost of his Office between 27 June 2007 and 27 June 2008 was. [231135]

The Prime Minister: The overall running costs of Downing street for the financial year 2007-08 were £22.78 million.

13 Nov 2008 : Column 1309W

The figure for 2007-08 includes the exceptional costs of £810,000 for essential renovation to the exterior of the Downing street estate undertaken in accordance with the requirements of English Heritage

International Development

Algeria: Overseas Aid

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent on aid to Saharawi refugees in Algeria in each of the last three years; and how much is planned to be spent in 2009-10. [235124]

Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development provides aid indirectly to Saharawi refugees in Algeria through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the European Commission's Humanitarian Office's (ECHO).

DFID is the sixth largest donor to the UNHCR. Since 2006, DFID has provided up to £19 million per year of unearmarked funds with plans to continue this in 2009-10. In 2007 alone, UNHCR spent $6 million on programmes in Algeria; almost all of this on providing protection and assistance to Saharawi refugees. DFID's unearmarked funds support the organisational capacity building and operations of UNHCR to enable it to effectively carry out its work with refugees.

The UK Government currently provide approximately 15 per cent. of the European Commission's Humanitarian Office's (ECHO) core budget. In 2005, ECHO provided €9.3 million to assist the Saharawi refugees in Algeria. In 2006, ECHO provided €10,900,000 (including an exceptional primary emergency response of € 900,000 to the February 2006 floods). In 2007 ECHO provided a further €10 million.

Departmental Disciplinary Proceedings

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what sanctions are available in cases of departmental staff found to have committed disciplinary offences; and how many times each has been used in each of the last three years. [230206]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: Staff working for the Department for International Development (DFID) who have been found to commit disciplinary offences are subject to DFID's disciplinary procedures. This may lead to (i) a written warning, (ii) a final written warning, (iii) dismissal, dependant upon the actual offence and any previous disciplinary action.

Further sanctions available include “short touring” (early departure from an overseas posting), restrictions to applying for promotion opportunities and restrictions on applying for overseas postings. Such sanctions are considered on a case by case basis.

Action on confirmed disciplinary offences in the last three years were:

First written warning Final written warning Dismissal







Less than 5




Less than 5


13 Nov 2008 : Column 1310W

Departmental Lost Property

Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) equipment and (b) data was lost by his Department in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [231438]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) can confirm the following information:

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development in which countries his Department has representation on the ground. [232844]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: The countries which have Department for International Development (DFID) representation on the ground are as shown in the following list:

13 Nov 2008 : Column 1311W
International Institutions
UK Representation/Delegation/Mission to:

European Union

EU (European Union)

Brussels, Belgium

International Monetary Fund

IMF (International Monetary Fund)

Washington, USA

United Nations

FAO (Food & Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations)

Rome, Italy

UN (United Nations)

New York, USA

UN (United Nations)

Vienna, Austria

UN (United Nations)

Geneva, Switzerland

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organisation)

Paris, France

13 Nov 2008 : Column 1312W


Banks: Compensation

Harry Cohen: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the Answer of 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 776W, on banks: compensation, what steps he plans to take to ensure that banks which have sought recourse to the banking rescue package are not commercially disadvantaged. [234945]

Ian Pearson: The banks which have sought recourse to the bank recapitalisation package will be more strongly capitalised and therefore better placed to serve the best long term interests of their shareholders, including the taxpayer.

Council Tax: Wales

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the Answer of 21 July 2008, Official Report, column 716W, on council tax: Wales, what the web address of the page with the updated information is. [235049]

Mr. Timms: The information is accessed via:

by clicking on the Council Tax tab/Information for Wales only/Details of Council Tax List alterations.

Departmental Internet

Mrs. May: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for which Government websites his Department is responsible; how many visitors each received in the last period for which figures are available; and what the cost of maintaining each site was in that period. [235025]

Angela Eagle: Maintenance costs and visitor statistics in 2007-08 for websites which come under responsibility of the Chancellor of the Exchequer are as follows:

Website address Maintenance costs 2007-08 (£) Unique visits in 2007-08( 1)











Sites hosted on a shared server:







(1) Unless otherwise indicated.
(2) Unavailable.

Maintenance costs includes direct costs, for example web hosting, support and infrastructure.

Staff costs are not included as they could be established only at disproportionate cost.

Next Section Index Home Page