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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the proportion of self-referrals of patients to physiotherapists which were found to be inappropriate in the last three years. [249272]

Ann Keen: No estimates have been made centrally. It is for primary care trusts in partnership with local stakeholders, including practice based commissioners, local government and the public to determine where self-referral is clinically appropriate.


Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance his Department provides to healthcare professionals on preventing, prescribing and dispensing errors in relation to immunosuppressant therapies. [249788]

Ann Keen: The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) reviews medication errors on an ongoing basis, and prioritises the production of guidance and recommendations based on the level of harm reported to its Reporting and Learning System (RLS), other national and international reporting systems and published literature.

The Agency has also produced a series of design guides in the ‘Design for Patient Safety’ series, which aim to improve the labelling, and packaging of pharmaceutical products. A copy has been placed in the Library. These have been issued to pharmaceutical companies to assist them produce products that minimise the risk of miss-selection and other patient safety incidents. These materials are also used by national health service (NHS) medicines procurement groups to purchase products which are safer in use. A design guide on The Dispensing Environment which identifies ways that good design of the dispensing environment can help improve the accuracy of the dispensing process has also been produced by the NPSA.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has, as part of an European Union-wide action on two specific immunosuppressant therapies, agreed to send a ‘dear Doctor/Healthcare Practitioner letter’ to the relevant NHS staff, and made proposals for changes to the packaging for Advagraf to emphasise that it differs from Prograf. In addition, MHRA included the issue in their December edition of the Drug Safety Update, with a further article in the January 2009 edition. These should help to make prescribers, pharmacists, and patients aware of the brand being prescribed, whatever the manufacturer, and the associated dose regimen. MHRA has also highlighted the issue to other information providers, including the British National Formulary and the National Prescribing Centre.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the proportion of NHS rehabilitation services which have been provided (a) in the community and (b) in institutional settings in each year since 1997-98. [249266]

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Phil Hope: No estimate has been made of the proportion of rehabilitation services provided in the community and in institution settings.

Shoulder Replacements

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health which NHS trusts performed between one and 12 shoulder replacements inclusive in the latest year for which figures are available, as recorded by the Hospital Episodes Statistics database. [249256]

Ann Keen: The requested information has been placed in the Library.


Banks: Regulation

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps the Government have taken to encourage banks to assist mortgage payers made unemployed; [248319]

(2) what recent steps the Government have taken to assist people paying their mortgages. [245468]

Ian Pearson: The Government have announced a new Homeowner Mortgage Support scheme, which will enable households that experience a significant and temporary loss of income as a result of the economic downturn to defer a proportion of the interest payments on their mortgage for up to two years.

The Government have also launched a mortgage rescue scheme to help borrowers facing repayment difficulties remain in their homes and this scheme has been extended to include second charge lending. Local authorities and housing associations can either buy a property and then rent it back to them, or buy a share of the property to reduce the household's overall mortgage costs.

The Government also provides direct support to individuals through Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI), which is available to those out of work and pensioners. As a temporary measure, the waiting period has been cut to 13 weeks for all new working age claimants and the Government are broadening the reach of the scheme by increasing the size of the mortgage for which support is payable to £200,000.

The Government have also extended the provision of free impartial debt advice with measures announced in the pre-Budget report.

Construction: Finance

Lorely Burt: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he plans to take to ensure that the £3 billion capital spending which is being brought forward results in construction activity; and which projects will receive a portion of such funds. [247821]

Yvette Cooper: The £3 billion of capital spending brought forward aimed to support a number of different industries and jobs around the country, including through construction activities.

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For example, the capital spend being brought forward by the Department for Children, School and Families will provide opportunities for small businesses locally and allow schools and children to benefit early from important projects to further improve school buildings. Decisions on how the funds will actually be used will be made at the local level to meet local priorities.

Details on the capital projects to be funded by the £3 billion spending package can be found in the 2008 pre-Budget report, paragraph 6.13.

Departments are currently working to ensure this money is spent in the appropriate manner and the Treasury is monitoring the development of the capital projects included in the £3 billion package.

Departmental Personnel

Mr. Maude: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are (a) his Department’s and (b) HM Revenue and Customs’ definition of pre-surplus staff; and what the criteria are under which an individual is added to the pre-surplus staff database. [241745]

Angela Eagle: In HM Revenue and Customs, when it becomes clear that work is reducing in a location and the number of posts needed to carry out the work is likely to reduce, senior managers within HMRC will assess whether their business will have a potential staff surplus. Wherever possible, the aim will be to manage the situation before declaring staff pre-surplus. Only permanent HMRC staff are eligible for pre-surplus status.

Where senior managers identify that there is a potential staff surplus they will consult with staff and the unions representing the staff affected, then commence pre-surplus measures. Those measures will include working with other senior managers and HR Business Partners to consider all the options for managing the potential pre-surplus situation.

Staff can be declared pre-surplus in two ways.

All staff in a particular grade, team or location could be declared pre-surplus. Once there has been a sufficient reduction in staff numbers, the remaining staff will no longer have pre-surplus status.

Alternatively, when a specific reduction is needed quickly, senior managers could run a selection exercise to identify which members of staff will fill posts to be retained. The remaining staff are then made pre-surplus.

Once declared pre-surplus, individual staff are added to the pre-surplus database. This ensures they are given priority access to vacancies within HMRC, and vacancies in other Government Departments.

HM Treasury does not use the term ‘pre surplus’ nor has any equivalent category.

Departmental Written Questions

Mr. Vara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions in the last 12 months Ministers in his Department have used their discretion to rule that a parliamentary question for written answer should be answered because it would be in the public interest to do so, even though to do so would exceed the disproportionate cost threshold of £700. [249145]

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Angela Eagle: Information relating to Ministers' consideration of parliamentary questions is not held in the format requested.

Fisheries: Tax Yields

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent estimate he has made of the contribution of the fishing industry to the Exchequer. [249150]

Angela Eagle: Comprehensive information is not available.

Available information is given as follows:

Income tax (IT) and national insurance contributions (NIC): relevant information is available for income tax (IT) and class 1 contributions deducted through PAYE. These estimates are set out in the table.


PAYE deductions of IT and class 1 NICs (£ million)













The estimates for the fishing industry are set out in the following table:

CT liability (£ million)













VAT—Most outputs from the UK agricultural sector fall under the VAT zero rate for food and as such the sector overall receives VAT repayments. The latest data on net receipts for the sector “Fishing and Fish Farms and Related Service Activities” for 2005 is published in the VAT fact sheet:

HMRC does not collect information on excise duties and other taxes attributable to purchases of fuel, alcohol etc. by the fishing industry.

Gift Aid

Jenny Willott: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department’s projection is of the amount of gift aid that will be paid to charities in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. [249222]

Mr. Timms: Information on the cost of gift aid tax relief can be found at:

Income Tax

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he plans to announce changes to the Government's policy on income tax before the forthcoming Budget. [247964]

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Mr. Timms: The 2008 pre-Budget report set out the key parameters of the income tax, national insurance and tax credits system for the coming year (2009-10) in the usual way. It also announced the Government's next set of reforms to the tax and benefit system, providing additional help for low and middle income families this year, and setting out changes to income tax and national insurance contributions in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Landfill Tax

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much landfill tax was paid by each local authority in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09 to date. [249462]

Angela Eagle: It is not possible using landfill tax receipts data to determine how much revenue is received from local authorities. This is because registered landfill site operators pay the tax to HM Revenue and Customs and pass on the cost to their customers through the disposal charges they set. The origin of the landfilled waste is not recorded on the tax return.


Mr. Letwin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what reasons he did not ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to make full repayment of depositors' monies in Landsbanki a condition of the IMF loan to Iceland. [247569]

Ian Pearson: On 19 November the IMF announced the approval of a $2.1 billion two-year loan for Iceland to support an economic recovery program to help Iceland restore confidence in its banking system and stabilise its currency. This includes Iceland's commitment to

and Iceland's recognition of its obligations to depositors under the EC Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive.

Details of the stand-by arrangement are available from the IMF website:

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress the Government have made in negotiations with the Icelandic government on the return of funds lost by the depositors in Landsbanki Guernsey. [247570]

Ian Pearson: Landsbanki Guernsey is a subsidiary of the Icelandic parent company, Landsbanki. Landsbanki Guernsey is in administration and is subject to arrangements in Guernsey.

In line with usual constitutional arrangements, the Government will represent the Crown Dependencies in its negotiations with the Icelandic authorities. The focus of the negotiations is to ensure Iceland honours its obligations to depositors under the EC Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive and ensures the fair and equitable treatment of creditors.

The IMF stand-by arrangement to Iceland, agreed on 19 November, includes Iceland's commitment to

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