Previous Section Index Home Page

14 Oct 2009 : Column 889W—continued

Government Departments: Data Protection

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what (a) losses of information and (b) breaches of information security have been reported to her Department by other Government departments since June 2008. [288962]

Tessa Jowell: As required in the cross government data handling review and to facilitate greater openness and transparency of data security breaches, Departments are required to report on significant personal information security breaches in their annual resource accounts. The first summary reports by Departments were published in their annual resource accounts at the end of the 2007-08 reporting year and these have now been followed by the 2008-09 accounts. These reports are publicly available through departmental websites.

Work and Pensions

Attendance Allowance: Scotland

John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) Glasgow East constituency and (b) Scotland were in receipt of the (i) higher and (ii) lower rate of attendance allowance on the latest date for which figures are available. [290779]

14 Oct 2009 : Column 890W

Jonathan Shaw [holding answer 9 September 2009]: The information is provided in the table:

The number of people in Glasgow East constituency and Scotland in receipt of higher and lower rate of attendance allowance at February 2009

Lower rate Higher rate

Glasgow East parliamentary constituency






1. Figures are rounded to the nearest ten.
2. Totals show the number of people in receipt of the lower or higher rate attendance allowance. Excludes people with an entitlement where payment has been suspended.
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

Pensioners: Poverty

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate she has made of the number of pensioners living in poverty in East Dunbartonshire constituency. [292933]

Angela Eagle: Estimates of poverty, published in the households below average income series, only allows a breakdown of the overall number of people in poverty at Government Office Region level. Therefore, information for East Dunbartonshire constituency is not available.

Latest information for Scotland, Government Office Region, is based on three year averages and is provided in Table 1 as follows:

Table 1: Number of pensioners (thousands) falling below various thresholds of median household income, after housing costs, Scotland Government Office Region, 2005-06 to 2007-08


Below 60 per cent. of contemporary median household income


Below 50 per cent. of contemporary median household income


Below 60 per cent. of the 1998-99 median household income uprated in line with prices


Social Fund: Glasgow

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 20 July 2009, Official Report, column 110WS, on the Discretionary Social Fund, for what reasons the changes to the Discretionary Social Fund were extended to Glasgow; and when she expects such an extension to end. [292915]

Helen Goodman: This change requires customers to be interviewed when they make a third or subsequent application for a crisis loan to cover living expenses (not including loans to cover the period before the customer receives their first payment of benefit or wages) in a rolling 12 month period.

This policy was extended to Glasgow in order to test the impact of this change in a large city environment; and to provide a comparison for Jobcentre Plus of the impact of interviewing a client on a third and subsequent crisis loan application in isolation from the combined measure being tested elsewhere. The testing in the two
14 Oct 2009 : Column 891W
other areas-the East Midlands and South West Regions-included limiting the number of some crisis loan awards for living expenses to no more than three in 12 months.

We plan to rollout the changes nationally from the end of October 2009.

Women and Equality

Equality and Human Rights Commission

Robert Neill: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what assessment she has made of whether the Chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has a conflict of interest in relation to his role in the Equate Organisation. [288268]

Maria Eagle: The chair of the EHRC has declared his interests in relation to Equate and has organised his work in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

India: Christianity

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps his Department has taken to address the problems faced by Christians in Orissa state, India. [292760]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers expressed their concerns directly to the Indian government at the time the violence occurred in 2008. The Indian central government has since urged the state government of Orissa, who are responsible for law and order in the state under the Indian constitution, to prevent any further such incidents. It has also offered compensation and assistance to victims of communal violence in India, including in Orissa. The EU sent a fact-finding mission to Orissa in December 2008 (in which a member of our high commission participated). Our high commission subsequently discussed the findings of that visit with the Indian government in Delhi, and also raised the issue of minority rights in Orissa at the last EU-India Human Rights Dialogue meeting in February 2009. They will participate in a further EU visit to Orissa, which is currently planned for December.

Middle East

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Israel on its policy priorities for (a) Gaza and (b) the West Bank; and if he will make a statement. [292961]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are in regular contact with Israeli Ministers and officials. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minster spoke to Prime Minister Netanyahu on 18 September. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary spoke to Defence Minister Barak on 13 October.

These discussions cover a range of issues, including Israeli policies in the west bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza. Israel has legitimate concerns about its security and is right to demand the immediate release of Gilad
14 Oct 2009 : Column 892W
Shalit. However, we are clear where we believe Israeli policies undermine hopes of peace and cause Palestinian civilians to suffer, notably through Israeli settlement building and movement restrictions in the west bank and east Jerusalem, and the restrictions on people and goods moving in and out of Gaza.


Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will instruct HM Ambassador in Rabat to investigate the abduction and torture by Moroccan security agents on 27 August 2009 of Ms Hassawina Nguyia, a 19 year-old Sahrawi woman who had previously been prevented from travelling to London to participate in the programme, Youths talk together about Western Sahara. [292829]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Our ambassador to Morocco and his staff at the British embassy in Rabat have already sought clarification from the Moroccan Government regarding Ms Hassawina Nguyia and the other Sahrawi students due to take part in an event in Oxford in August this year.

The Government made clear to the Moroccan authorities that they regretted that the students had been prevented from travelling to the UK and that they were concerned by allegations of the disproportionate use of force.

The Moroccan Government have told us that they remain open to participating in future events organised by Talk Together and have investigated the allegations of mistreatment, which they deny. We will continue to seek further clarification from the Moroccan authorities.

Nigeria: Arms Control

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of developments in the case of a Ukrainian aircraft detained in Nigeria in June 2009 following reports it was carrying weapons and ammunition. [292076]

Chris Bryant: We were not previously aware of this incident, although it was reported by the BBC and in the African press over the summer. The hon. Member for Winchester (Mr. Oaten) has been a member of the Commons Committee on Arms Export Controls since September 2008.

North Korea: Nuclear Power

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will seek to place on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council the matter of the sale of nuclear technology by North Korea to the government of Burma. [291973]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We are aware of unconfirmed reports of nuclear cooperation between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) (North Korea) and Burma and continue to monitor the situation.

We are already working actively with international partners to ensure effective implementation of the robust package of sanctions imposed in the new UN Security Council Resolution 1874 on DPRK. This was agreed unanimously in June following the North Korean underground nuclear test of May 2009.

14 Oct 2009 : Column 893W

Home Department

Identity and Passport Service: Complaints

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many complaints the Identity and Passport Service has received from (a) members of the public and (b) hon. Members in each of the last 12 months; [289520]

(2) how many complaints his Department has received from hon. Members in respect of the operation of the Identity and Passport Service in each of the last 12 months. [289521]

Mr. Woolas: The total number of complaints received during the period of June 2008-May 2009 are:


(a) Members of the public


(b) Hon. Members


The following table is the breakdown of the complaints received in each of the last 12 months:

MP cases Members of the public








































The Identity and Passport Service does not record complaints in the form of the operation of the service. However, hon. Members' complaints received in IPS are broken down into specific categories and the top three categories from June 2008-May 2009 are:

It should also be noted that one letter can generate multiple categories.

Police: Drugs

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers have been tested for substance misuse in each of the last three years; and how many of those tests have recorded a positive result of substance misuse. [292441]

Mr. Hanson: The information requested is not available centrally.


Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what mechanisms are in place to ensure that the barred status of an individual under
14 Oct 2009 : Column 894W
the Vetting and Barring scheme is flagged on Criminal Records Bureau checks. [289340]

Mr. Hanson: In accordance with provisions of the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, the status of an individual under the Vetting and Barring Scheme will be included on an Enhanced Criminal Records Bureau disclosure with effect from 12 October 2009.

Next Section Index Home Page