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Sentencing: Ex-servicemen

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether veterans are identified as such on reception into custody; and what assistance his Department provides for such veterans. [302331]

Maria Eagle: Prisoners are routinely asked for details of their employment history as part of the prison induction process. Prison assessment procedures are being revised to include more specific questions to identify offenders who have served in the armed forces.

The Ministry of Defence works with third sector organisations and across Government to raise awareness among ex-service personnel of the help and support available to them and their families while they serve their sentence and prepare for release. Leaflets and
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posters have recently been distributed to prison establishments giving contact details of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA), The Royal British Legion (TRBL), Soldiers Sailors Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) Forces Help and Combat Stress and the types of support provided by these agencies. These include access to welfare officers; treatment for anxiety, post traumatic stress and sleep disorders; financial assistance; and help with rent, clothing, training, relocation and employment. The MoD funded Medical Assessment Programme is available for specialist military mental health advice for veterans in prison referred to them by prison medial staff. The programme has been extended to include reservists' mental health for those who have deployed since 2003.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assistance veterans handed down a custodial sentence are given by the Prison Service while serving their sentence. [302333]

Maria Eagle: Posters, leaflets and guides are available to governors and prison officers to help them to signpost veterans to the range of support services provided by Government and voluntary organisations. This includes Ministry of Defence funded mental health services and voluntary organisations providing resettlement support to veterans and their families. Many Governors have chosen to appoint a local point of contact for co-ordinating and promoting the services. A new guide: "Veterans in Custody Support-A Guide" will shortly be distributed to all prison establishments. This will be backed by training and support in the form of networking events and visits to establishments, during the period January to March 2010.

To complement veteran specific services, the Prison Service has access to 102 mental health in reach teams and provides a portfolio of interventions, containing 14 offending behaviour programmes, six drug programmes five therapeutic communities and a dangerous and severe personality disorder programme.

Officials are currently matching Ministry of Justice data on prisoners with Ministry of Defence data on veterans to find both the scale and scope of the issue of veterans in custody. This data will allow us to examine paths into offending and consider whether more specific services need to be developed for veterans in prisons.



Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total monetary value was of (a) guarantees, (b) net capital injections and (c) asset purchases by his Department in respect of banks in each year since 2007, and as percentage of gross domestic product in 2009 to date. [303559]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: I refer my hon. Friend to the written answer I gave to my right hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West and Royton (Mr. Meacher) on 9 September 2009, Official Report, column 1924W.

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Bradford and Bingley and Northern Rock

Jim Cousins: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent on fees and payments in the valuation exercise for (a) Bradford and Bingley shares and (b) Northern Rock shares when they were acquired by the Government. [302552]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The terms of appointment for the independent valuers appointed for the purposes of the Northern Rock plc and Bradford and Bingley plc compensation schemes, which include the arrangements for the payment of remuneration and reimbursement of expenses are available on the Treasury website:

Child Care Vouchers

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many women have received childcare vouchers in (a) the UK, (b) England, (c) the North East and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in each year since their introduction. [302681]

Mr. Timms: Published research, commissioned by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in 2005, by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) estimated that 69 per cent. of the employees receiving Employer Supported Childcare (ESC) are women (Table 4.6, Page 49). NatCen's report is available at

The report also estimates the number of eligible employees offered employer supported childcare in late 2005 and that childcare vouchers represent the majority of the provision of ESC. Using these estimates along with the eligible employee take up rate for those offered ESC (on page 44) shows that approximately 63,200 women were receiving childcare vouchers at the end of 2005. Information for other time periods is not available.

The report also estimates the proportion of employers that offer ESC split by Government office region (Table A.7, Appendix A, page 19). From this, an estimated 85 per cent. of employers offered ESC are based in England and 1 per cent. in the North East of England. No such estimate is available for the constituency Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland.

These numbers should be treated with caution as the employee take up rate and use of vouchers over other forms of ESC would likely vary from region to region and this does not account for employees working in one region and living in another. All of these estimates are subject to very wide confidence intervals due to random sampling.

Child Trust Fund: Wales

Jessica Morden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many child trust funds have been opened for children resident in (a) Newport East constituency and (b) Wales since their introduction. [303498]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The most recent constituency and regional level statistics on child trust fund accounts can be viewed on HM Revenue and Customs' website:

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Departmental Internet

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) page hits and (b) visitors his Department's website received in 2008-09. [301851]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Page views and unique visitors for the Department website for the period November 2008 to November 2009 are as follows:

Statistics prior to October 2008 are unavailable due to the migration of the department website to centrally hosted servers.

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cost was of maintaining his Department's website in the 2008-09 financial year; and what the forecast cost is of maintaining websites within his responsibility in the 2009-10 financial year. [302424]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The costs of maintaining the Departmental website are as follows:

Financial year Maintenance costs (£)



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

The forecast cost for maintaining websites within the Chancellor of the Exchequer's responsibility in the 2009-10 financial year are as follows:

Financial year Website Forecast costs (£)











These figures do not include any redevelopment costs associated with the web sites in question.

Under the Transformational Government strategy to rationalise websites the Invest to Save Budget website is being integrated into the HM Treasury site, therefore no costs are associated with this site. The Government Finance Profession website is supported by sponsorship therefore there is no cost to HM Treasury.

Departmental Legislation

Chris Huhne: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what criminal offences have been (a) abolished and (b) created by primary legislation sponsored by his Department since 1 May 2008. [303258]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: No offences were abolished during the relevant period.

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The following offences were created during the relevant period.

All of these were created under the Banking Act 2009 (c.1), which received Royal Assent on 12 February 2009. These offences comprise:

Parts 2 and 3 (bank insolvency and bank administration) - sections 389 and 430 to 432 of the Insolvency Act 1986 are applied, which create new offences as they are applied to the insolvency procedures under the Banking Act.

Departmental Lost Property

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) laptop computers, (b) mobile telephones, (c) items of office furniture and (d) works of art have been (i) lost by and (ii) stolen from his Department in each of the last three year; whether his Department has made an insurance claim on each such item; and what the estimated value of each such item was. [302932]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: In respect of the numbers of (a) laptop computers and (b) mobile telephones lost by and stolen from the Department, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member Putney (Justine Greening) on 12 October 2009, Official Report, column 250W.

No (c) items of office furniture and (d) works of art have been lost by, or stolen from, the Department in the last three years.

In accordance with value for money guidance to all central government organisations, HM Treasury does not take out commercial insurance against these risks.

The estimated value of each laptop is £600 and of each mobile telephone is £50.

Departmental Taxis

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many miles (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have travelled by taxi in the course of their official duties in each year since 1997; and at what cost to the public purse in each such year. [302711]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The information requested on mileage could not be provided within the disproportionate costs threshold. Spending on taxis/private hire in 2008-09 was £219,000 and in 2007-08 £216,000. For information on spending in earlier years I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the former Exchequer Secretary, my hon. Friend the Member for Wallasey (Angela Eagle) on 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1922W to the hon. Member for Hertford & Stortford (Mr. Prisk).

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Departmental Training

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what training sessions were attended by (a) Ministers and (b) special advisers in his Department at public expense in each of the last three years. [302946]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Any bespoke training that Ministers require is made available as necessary. There is no central provision for training special advisers.

Departmental Travel

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date he last travelled by (a) bus and (b) taxi in the course of his official duties. [302731]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: Treasury Ministers, including the Chancellor, have used various forms of public transport in the course of their ministerial duties over the last year.


Dr. Ladyman: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what mechanisms are in place to ensure that staff who drive (a) a vehicle for which (i) his Department and (ii) one of its executive agencies is responsible have valid driving licences and (b) their own vehicles in the course of their official duties for (A) his Department and (B) one of its executive agencies have valid driving licences and insurance; what guidance is issued to those staff in respect of road safety while carrying out official duties; what steps are taken to monitor compliance with that guidance; what requirements there are on such staff to report to their line managers accidents in which they are involved while driving in the course of their official duties; and whether such reports are investigated. [302168]

Sarah McCarthy-Fry: The travel guidance issued to staff in HM Treasury and the Debt Management Office requires that driving licences are checked when a member of staff first hires a vehicle for official business and they are subsequently re-checked on an annual basis. Where a member of staff uses their own vehicle on official business, when making a claim for reimbursement of their expenses they acknowledge that they have valid insurance for business use that also covers passengers, possess a valid driving licence, maintain the vehicle in a roadworthy condition and, where appropriate, have a valid MOT certificate and maintain the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer's schedule. It is the claimant's line manager's responsibility to verify the insurance status of the claimant and any material changes to the insurance should be reported to the line manager.

When opting to drive on business, employees are reminded that-on long journeys, a break of 15 to 20 minutes should be taken every two hours, the driver should ensure that they are familiar with the controls, particularly in hire vehicles, before setting off, and that it is illegal to use a mobile telephone while driving, and they should switch them off to avoid the possibility of distraction. Officials and line managers are required to report all accidents and incidents that occur during the
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course of work. This includes accidents whilst driving on official business. Any reported incidents involving injury are investigated and compliance is normally monitored through internal audit procedures.

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