|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Hands: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 28 January 2009, Official Report, column 586W, on departmental training, what the (a) cost, (b) duration and (c) nature was of each of the courses undertaken; and which Ministers attended each. 
As I set out in my answer of 28 January 2009, Official Report, column 586W, the three courses attended by Treasury Ministers in the period concerned were intended to enable Ministers to carry out their duties effectively in line with the Ministerial Code. Two courses lasted a day, and one 90 minutes. The total cost
of the courses was £1,285. Identifying Ministers who undertake training would, or would be likely to, discourage participation in future training sessions, acting as a disincentive for Ministers to undertake formal professional development.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment the Government has made of the merits of provision of loan guarantees by nationalised and part-nationalised banks for energy infrastructure projects. 
Ian Pearson: Government have taken measures to recapitalise the financial sector and recently announced a package of support to address the cash flow, credit and capital needs. Taken together, these measures will provide a significant boost to companies seeking finance.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate he has made of the amount to be paid by his Department to AE4 in respect of its role as a face-to-face partner for the Money Guidance Pathfinder Scheme; 
Ian Pearson: The £12 million Money Guidance pathfinder, jointly funded by HM Treasury and the Financial Services Authority, will launch this spring in the North West and North East of England. Delivery partners, which will offer Money Guidance on the telephone and face-to-face, were announced on 13 January. The Government cannot disclose the information requested about the tendering and contracting process for partners at this stage for reasons of commercial sensitivity.
Ian Pearson: Last month, Northern Rock announced that in order to support the Governments policy to increase mortgage lending capacity in the market, it was slowing down the rate of mortgage redemptions and this will lead to it repaying its loan to Government at a slower rate.
Northern Rock is currently ahead of its loan repayment target having, on a net basis, reduced the amount outstanding to the Government by £15.4 billion to £11.5 billion at 30 September 2008 (from £26.9 billion at 31 December 2007).
Government are pleased with the progress Northern Rock has made in repaying the loan. We are working closely with the company to develop an updated strategy and business plan. A full statement will be made in due course once the strategic review is complete.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) businesses and (b) the Exchequer of the doubling of value added tax (VAT) turnover threshold for the VAT cash accounting scheme in 2007. 
Mr. Timms: The increase in the VAT cash accounting scheme threshold in 2007 was estimated to cost the Exchequer around £120 million in 2007-08, as published in table A1.1 of the Financial Statement and Budget Report 2007. This represents the amount of VAT receipts delayed from 2007-08 into 2008-09 as a result of increased membership of the scheme. The effect on individual businesses depends on their turnover and how quickly they make and receive payments in the course of their business activities. The overall benefit to business is equivalent to the cost to the Exchequer.
Ian Pearson: The Governments immediate priority are to continue to support the economy through these difficult times. As part of that, in addition to its regular monitoring of developments, HM Treasury has regular engagements with other Governments, including the US, on a range of issues relating to the economy.
Joan Ryan: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children in Enfield North constituency participated in the Bookstart programme in each year from 2002 to 2008. 
Beverley Hughes: It is not possible to provide figures broken down by constituency. Booktrust tell me that the total number of free Bookstart packs issued to parents of children in Enfield local authority between April 2002 and March 2008 follows:
|Bookstart baby pack||Bookstart and packs||Bookstart Treasure Chest|
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many children in care from families resident in Scotland have been fostered through English local authorities in each year since 1999; 
Beverley Hughes: Information on the number of children in care from families resident in Scotland or Wales who have been fostered by English local authorities in each year since 1999 is not collected centrally by the Department.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children in care from families resident in England have been fostered under arrangements with (a) Welsh and (b) Scottish authorities in each year since 1999. 
Beverley Hughes: There were 59,500 looked-after children in England at 31 March 2008, of which 42,300 were in foster placements. In total, 540 of the children looked after by English local authorities at 31 March 2008 were in placements outside England and 370 of these were in foster placements, this includes those in placements in Wales and Scotland. These figures exclude those children looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements.
Beverley Hughes: ContactPoint is an online tool to enable delivery of co-ordinated support for children and young people and ensure that they do not slip through the net. It will be the quick way for practitioners to find out who else is working with the same child. It will contain basic identifying information about all children and young people in England, up to their 18th( )birthday, and contact details for their parents/carers and for services working with a child or young person.
ContactPoint does not and will not record whether a child has previously been subject to a child protection plan, nor does it or will it hold any other case information. The data that can be held on ContactPoint is restricted by the Children Act 2004 Information Database (England) Regulations 2007.
[holding answer 9 February 2009]: As in my previous response to the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mrs. Miller) on 29 January 2009, Official
Report, column 832W, we are not in a position at this early point to provide a definitive figure for number of records that may be shielded. However, early indications are that between a 100 records and 200 records on average may be shielded in each local authority.
Beverley Hughes: The child poverty pilots announced in Budget 2008 will help lift children out of poverty and, importantly, will guide the Government as they work to eradicate child poverty. The pilots will run until April 2011. They will enable local authorities, and their partners, to use resources in the way that makes sense in their locality, test out new ideas and create an evidence base to inform the strategy to develop a sustainable solution to eradicating child poverty by 2020. Evaluation is an essential part of this process and we will ensure that all key findings are published and disseminated, including lessons learnt from the pilots as they progress.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families who the members were of the cross-department assessment panel convened to assess bids for intensive intervention projects; and whether any members of the panel declared an interest. 
Beverley Hughes: The assessment panel was made up of officials from Government offices, Youth Justice Board, CLG and Youth Taskforce. None of the people making the decision on the bids was an employee of the authorities or organisations being assessed.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what plans he has to provide all children with quality cultural opportunities in and outside schools; and what his Departments definition of quality cultural opportunities is. 
Schools offer many cultural activities in the school curriculum, and there is much
cultural activity taking place outside school and beyond the school day. The Find Your Talent programme, launched in February 2008, will build on the cultural activities already taking place around the country, and work towards a position where all children and young people have the opportunity to access high quality cultural activities in and out of school. These will include: attending and taking part in top quality theatre and dance performances; attending national and local exhibitions, museums and heritage sites; learning a musical instrument and singing in ensembles; producing creative writing and artwork; and making films. 10 pathfinders are trialling ways of delivering a structured cultural offer. They will help us to establish what activities should be included, and how to define and ensure the quality of the activities. Young people will work with the very best of the professional cultural sector.
The Learning Outside the Classroom Manifesto supports schools in offering extra activities to pupils, including creative and arts activities. A Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge will be awarded to provider organisations who have demonstrated that they meet six quality indicators. There is also a considerable amount of investment by the Government in culture and arts programmes such as Creative Partnerships and the support given to enable museums to run educational programmes.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families with reference to the answer of 28 October 2008, Official Report, columns 101-02W, on departmental ICT, what the (a) original expected cost was, (b) original expected delivery date was and (c) current expected completion date is of each ICT project listed; and if he will make a statement. 
Sarah McCarthy-Fry: With reference to the reply of 28 October 2008, Official Report, columns 101-02W, on departmental ICT, I have updated the information given on a best-fit basis to show the (a) original expected cost, (b) the original expected delivery date and (c) the current expected completion date of each ICT project listed. The costs shown are total project costs, which include ICT specific expenditure. The information is based on current plans and is subject to actual outturns. Some DCSF expenditure also includes elements relating to services provided to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills following machinery of government changes that are not readily identifiable.
|Project||Costs (£ million)||Original expected cost||Original expected delivery date||Current expected completion date||Comments|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|