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Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will bring forward proposals to (a) prohibit employers from operating a mandatory requirement age and (b) remove the national default retirement age provided for in the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. 
Mr. McFadden: The UK does not have a national mandatory retirement age. Employers do not have to retire employees once they reach 65. They are free to continue to employ them as long as they like, and employees are entitled to request to continue working beyond 65. The default retirement age allows employers to use retirement at 65 as a tool for workforce planning. If an employer wishes to operate a normal retirement age that is lower than 65 they must objectively justify it.
We are monitoring the legislation as we said we would when it was introduced. We will take due account of all the up to date information available in ensuring we arrive at an appropriate outcome in our review planned for 2011.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what proportion of Royal Mail the Government plan to sell to a private sector partner; and what price the Government intends to charge for that stake. 
Mr. McFadden: Government will maintain our manifesto commitment to a Royal Mail which remains in public ownership and will therefore retain a majority stake to safeguard the vital services it provides.
However, it is too early at this stage to speculate as to what the precise details of any minority share sale will be as they are subject to negotiations with the potential partner. Once we are in a position to announce such details we will do so.
Mr. Djanogly: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how much will be paid annually to the new Chairman of Royal Mail in (a) salary, (b) pension contributions and (c) other expenses and allowances; and what the equivalent remuneration figures for his predecessor were. 
Mr. McFadden: The new Chairman, Donald Brydon, will receive remuneration of £200,000 per year. There is no pension associated with this non-executive Chairman post. There is no set amount for expenses. This will be determined on an actual basis.
Data on enterprise closures from the Office for National Statistics Business Demography publication are available on an annual basis. Data for the years 2003 to 2007 are shown in the following table. Data for 2008 will be available in late 2009.
|Enterprise closures, UK|
ONS Business Demography 2007. Available at:
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the opportunities which exist for the manufacture of wind turbines from steel made in the United Kingdom; and whether he has made an assessment of the implications for the United Kingdom steel industry of an expanded capacity of the on and off-shore wind power industry. 
Ian Pearson: The UK steel industry is a key supplier of steel to wind turbine sector. Corus has supplied steel to the renewable energy sector for a number of years, including for the production of onshore and offshore wind towers. The Government anticipate strengthening demand for steel from this sector as our policies place target an increased use of renewable energy sources alongside reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation.
The UK has the largest potential wind energy in Europe and the technology for both onshore and offshore wind power is currently one of the most developed and cost effective of all renewable technologies. Corus has key customers through the supply chainfrom the tower fabricators to the wind turbine manufacturers. Corus will continue to work with its key customers and the Government to identify opportunities to maximise the value that can be obtained from the sector for the UK.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many equalities impact assessments his Department has undertaken in the last 12 month period for which figures are available; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of such assessments. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: During 2008 the Department for International Development (DFID) undertook 11 Equality Impact Assessments. No estimate has been made of the cost of these assessments, as they were carried out by staff as part of their everyday duties.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to advise staff of pension options available to them in relation to added years or additional voluntary contributions. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis:
Members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme receive an annual benefit statement showing the pension built up to date, and also a projection of their pension on retirement if they continue in service
to scheme pension age. The benefit statement prompts the member to consider boosting their pension and provides details of the civil service pensions website where staff can obtain further information, including options for making additional voluntary contributions and a calculator to work out costs for added pension (previously added years).
Cabinet Office provides leaflets that explain added pension and additional voluntary contributions for members. The information is also available in scheme booklets. These are available on the Civil Service Pensions website or on request from the members pensions administrator. In addition to this, a notice outlining the added pension facility was displayed on the Department for International Developments (DFID) internal web pages on a number of occasions throughout January.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development with reference to the answer of 25 November 2008, Official Report, columns 1319-20W, on redundancy, what estimate he has made of the annual payroll savings accruing to his Department as a result of staff exit schemes in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07, (c) 2007-08 and (d) 2008-09 excluding the cost of severance packages; and what estimate he has made of the equivalent figures for (i) 2009-10 and (ii) 2010-11. 
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many days off in lieu were granted to staff in (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies for working (i) in lunch breaks and (ii) at other times outside contracted hours, in the last year for which figures are available. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on the number of days off in lieu granted to staff in the Department for International Development (DFID) cannot be provided since the information is not centrally recorded.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much of his Departments budget for 2008-09 has been spent on addressing the effects of climate change in developing countries; 
Mr. Michael Foster: Details of DFIDs 2008-09 spending are not yet available but will be published in our 2009 annual report in July. The most recently available data can be found in Statistics on International Development 2008, which was published in November 2008 and is available online:
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what proposals his Department has brought forward for a Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security; how much funding his Department plans to provide to such a partnership; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what discussions he has had with his (a) EU and (b) G8 counterparts on the proposed Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security; which of these counterparts have (i) indicated a willingness to join the partnership and (ii) committed funds to it; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: In June 2008 at the Rome Food Summit, the Secretary of State called for an international partnership for agriculture and food to deliver an ambitious and sustained increase in our collective efforts to tackle world hunger.
Subsequently DFID has worked intensively with other donors, the UN High Level Task Force on Global Food Security and other stakeholders to take this forward. The UK worked within the G8 to secure food security as a key priority for the Toyako summit in July. G8 leaders called for the establishment of a Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food and established a G8 Working Group on Global Food Security in which the UK has been proactive. We have also engaged closely with the European Commission through the Working Party on Development Cooperation (CODEV). The result is sold donor consensus on the need for more and better support for food security, social protection and agricultural development and for a global mechanism to help deliver a comprehensive and co-ordinated international response to hunger.
The recent High Level Meeting on Food Security for All, hosted by Ban Ki Moon and President Zapatero in Madrid, agreed to launch a formal consultation process for the establishment of a Global Partnership for Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition (GPAFSN) which will fully engage all relevant stakeholders.
Given the existence of the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Banks multi-donor trust fund for rapid response to countries badly affected by the recent food crisis, the GPAFSN is not conceived as a new global fund. A small secretariat is envisaged, with its main role being to co-ordinate among the various UN agencies, donors, partner countries and other stakeholders who are serious and ambitious in stepping up joint efforts to reduce global hunger.
Over $15 billion of new funding has already been announced since the food crisis began last year. G8 leaders announced some $10 billion of new commitments at their summit in Toyako. A further $1.75 billion to tackle food security was announced at the UN High Level Meeting on the MDGs in New York in September. This included one billion euros from the European Commission. Spain pledged one billion euros over the next five years at the recent Madrid meeting. The World Bank has pledged to increase its annual spending on agriculture by some $2 billion per year. Within these figures, during 2008 DFID has committed over £900 million to addressing agriculture and food security, of which over £230 million has already been disbursed.
The GPAFSN will have a crucial role in promoting the co-ordination of this funding at country level where partner governments are willing to give sustained priority to this agenda. GPAFSN will also be a forum for identifying and addressing emerging international issues, such as global grain price volatility, not appropriate for other international forums.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has credited to the Global Fund for AIDS in each year since the funds inception; and if he will make a statement. 
|Financial year||£ million|
In September 2007, the UK made an unprecedented long term commitment of up to £1 billion for 2008-15, on the condition that the Global Fund receives good quality demand, continues to perform well, and is demonstrating sustainable impact.
Mr. Michael Foster: The Department for International Development (DFID) undertook a detailed expenditure review last yearthe DFID Humanitarian Spend Report, showing where DFID humanitarian funds have been spent and through which partner organisations. This has been shared with non-governmental organisations. Copies of the report have been placed in the House of Commons Library.
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